The 5 W's of Buying a Home, and How!
Last week I shared some information and resources about why now is the time for homeowners to prepare to sell this spring. But today we’re going to talk about the flip-side: the who, what, when, where, why and how of BUYING a home.
Anyone with a stable income should be making a plan to buy a home. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will buy this year, or even next, but it should be in your plans for the future. While renting definitely serves a purpose for various reasons and stages of life, eventually home ownership is almost always the best choice (see “Why?” below for more).
Before house-hunting, determine your Top 5 Needs & Wants based on your goals and future plans. Also, anyone who has ever talked to me knows that I always recommend my clients consider how purchasing a duplex for a long term investment might meet their needs. It is definitely one of the smartest financial choices I have seen my clients make.
This one is tricky. The old adage that “the best time to buy a house is when it is the best time for you” is certainly true. However, there are a few points to consider when timing your home buying process.
For instance, spring and summer have the highest inventory. This means that you are more likely to find a place that meets more of your wants and needs. The weather is also more conducive to thorough inspections and related repairs or upgrades. Finally, moving during the summer break is ideal for families with school-aged children.
On the other hand, prices are higher in the peak season, so you get more bang for your buck in the “off” seasons of fall and winter. Although, moving in the rain, sleet, and snow--or during the holidays--can make the entire ordeal feel like just that, an ordeal. And with lower inventory, it might take a little longer or require some extra compromise to find the right place for you.
This one is a no-brainer to me. Fife-Milton-Edgewood is a great area to live. I should know! FME is where my family and I have put down roots, and I love this community. With easy access to all of the main south and central Puget Sound cities and mass transit centers, commuting for work or pleasure (I am told some people like to drive places...weird, I know) is about as easy as it comes in the gridlocked PNW. Highly rated schools, beautiful parks and trails in the vicinity--need I go on? Buying a home in FME is a fantastic decision.
Why not? Haha. Not really. Look, I am in the real estate industry, so of course I want to tell you all of the amazing, wonderful ways that buying a home will improve your life. However, I also pride myself on authenticity and transparency, so I am going to get the bad news out of the way: home ownership isn’t always the right choice. If your income is unstable, you anticipate a major life change in the near future, or you simply aren’t ready to take on all of the nitty gritty truths of owning a home, then rest easy in knowing that renting is a completely legitimate and appropriate choice for you. For now.
But if you are fairly stable, then why continue to pay someone else’s mortgage and fund someone else’s retirement indefinitely? Because that is what you are doing when you rent.
According to the US Census Bureau, home ownership and retirement savings are the biggest factors in determining household wealth. For many, their home equity is ultimately a large part of their retirement plan as well. When you rent, you don’t build equity in your home. Make no mistake, the value of that house is appreciating--it’s just not in your favor.
Besides the finances, there are other, less measurable “whys” in favor of buying. Want to paint a room without the hassle of getting permission? What if you want to rip out a section of the yard to plant a garden or build a playhouse for your kids? Fall in love with a shelter pup but your landlord says no pets? There is a big psychological component to having a home not just a house, and buying is often the best way to address that desire for something to call your own.
Oh, boy! Now we’re to my favorite part! This is literally what I do--all day, every day. I’ve got this!
First, you need to fill out the form below to download my Buyer’s Guide, filled with all of the ins and outs of the buying process. Go ahead and send that form now. I’ll wait.
FREE BUYER'S GUIDE
6 STEPS TO BECOMING A HOMEOWNER
Learn what it takes to achieve your Real Estate goals & invest in your future.
Done? Great! Now, before you run over to your email for the guide, bookmark these recent posts from my blog for more reading. They have a lot more tips for you to make the buying process that much easier.
- 6 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Must Answer
- 6 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes - Part 1
- 6 Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes - Part 2
Buying real estate comes with a lot of liability.
Most people struggle with knowing where to begin and what to prioritize.
You're not alone.
If you haven’t already, check your email for your Buyer’s Guide. Read through it, make some notes, and then reach out to me to set up a time to talk about your goals and how I can help you!
All the best,