The American dream goes something like this….graduate from college, get a job, get married, buy a starter home, get a dog, have a kid, buy a bigger house, have another kid……and on and on. Yet, in realizing the American dream, the nightmare is rarely discussed….student loans, high divorce rates, credit card debt, expensive daycare, and the list continues.
In living the American dream, we all have choices and decisions. I am often asked, “should I buy a house”? Similar to all life decisions, pray to determine if home ownership is the best option for your lifestyle.
In deciding to buy a house, consider the following…
What are the responsibilities of home ownership?
Do not underestimate the responsibilities of owning a home; such as, yard maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and HOA fees. Try to keep an emergency fund for home repairs and upgrades. Download Home Economics: Own Your Future brochure.
Do you have a reliable job and consistent income?
If you are financing your home, the bank requires consistent employment history and steady income. Prepare to disclose your personal financial history, tax returns, payroll records, and bank statements
What is your credit history?
Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to receive a free credit report. Your credit score affects your ability to borrow money. To learn how to increase your credit score, register to attend a free Financial Fitness for Homeownership Seminar on Saturday, June 28th from 10am-12pm in Rock Hill, SC.
Are you eating out daily and shopping weekly?
You need sufficient savings for a down payment, closing costs, and/or moving expenses. Saving money takes hard work and discipline. For a free online financial tool, visit www.mint.com.
Should I buy now?
There is a time and place for everything. Make sure you are willing and able to make an on-time monthly mortgage payment.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” –Socrates
Jerrianne Jackson is a Real Estate Consultant who inspires first time home buyers to understand the values of home ownership through education and enlightenment. Her company, the Blu J Agency helps individuals and investors leverage residential real estate to establish long-term economic wealth. For more information, visit www.BluJAgency.com or call 803.378.8844.