What does becoming a homeowner actually mean?
For this entry of the “First Time Home Buyers” series we are going to talk about what becoming a homeowner actually means. For most people the perceived answer to that question is very simple: owning a home. Well… I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s much more than that. There are some very important questions to ask yourself before you take this giant step. There is a certain line of thinking that is mandatory for you to be a successful homeowner. Don’t worry; we are going to walk you through everything you need to consider before becoming a homeowner.
The best way to summarize the line of thinking we are talking about is simple; YOU HAVE TO WANT IT! BADLY. A lot of people get in the process of becoming a homeowner because they have been told since they were a kid that it’s just what we as Americans do. We grow up, finish school, get a real job, and buy a house. Unfortunately, few people take the time to consider how homeownership will truly change their life. Simply put, if you don’t really want it, don’t do it. Here are the three main areas that homeownership makes its presence felt the strongest; your finances, your community, and your time. Owning a home will take a commitment in all three of these areas and again, you have to want this commitment!
Commitment to Finances- This is probably the easiest one for most people to grasp. When you sign that final note, usually a 30-year mortgage, you are agreeing to a 30-year financial commitment. Not just to your mortgage payment but to several utility bills and the responsible up keep of your home. In many ways your quality of life can be dictated by how well you honor this commitment. While the stress of this may be huge, it comes with many benefits. Generally speaking, owning your own home is a good investment. It’s a secure place to put your life earnings. If you properly maintain your home this investment should be generally stable. At the very least, you will have a nice place to call yours. You will have a home.
Commitment to Community, the Economy and Planting Your Roots- This particular commitment of home ownership is usually overlooked. Plain and simple, when you buy a home you’re becoming an official member of the community. Your mere presence and homeownership in the community will make you a contributor to its local economy at a greater level than you have ever experienced before. This comes with responsibility. Experts estimate that 15% of the gross domestic product is driven by the housing market. They also estimate that 6 of the last 8 nationwide recessions have ended thanks to a robust housing market. The point is, once you become a homeowner you owe it to your community and its economy to take care of your home and stay ahead on your mortgage payments. Even if the ownership of this home is temporary or a smaller piece to your big pie the responsibility remains the same. Planting your roots is a must. In return, you get to build yourself a sanctuary, a retreat center, something that completely reflects who you are. It’s the best part of ownership; it’s making your home.
Commitment to Your Time- Understanding the commitment to your time that homeownership will take is monumental in being a successful homeowner. When something breaks, you fix it. When fall comes and the leaves completely cover your yard, you clean it up. When the grass grows, you mow it. When it snows, you shovel the driveway. All of these things take physical time. Homeownership requires your undivided attention. It is also important to note again that each of these require a financial commitment as well. While often times fairly inexpensive, a shovel, a rake, a lawn mower and fuel, all cost money.
In closing, we tell you all of this not to strike fear in you; we are in the business of selling mortgages after all. But it’s important to us that we prepare our future clients for reality so that when the right time comes, the only direction to move is forward. Hopefully we drove home the main idea of how bad you must want it! Owning a home might not be for everyone, but I am confident in saying that it is one of the greatest monetary additions a person can make to his or her life. The commitment is nothing but rewarding. In the end, who doesn’t want a place to call home?
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