Over Coming Financial Obstacles to Home Ownership!
Many people feel they cannot afford a home. Some of them have even talked to a lender that has told them they cannot afford a home, or cannot qualify for the loan.
The California Association of Realtors (CAR) put out a Inforgraphic showing what most people see as obstacles to getting a home loan.
This of course is focused on Student Loan Debt and Home Ownership as this is a big obstacle for many people. Many families are focused on this problem. My oldest son is in college and we are dealing with this issue too. For those of you done with school I will have some advise below. For young people I will tell you the three things I advised my son:
Beware of the cost. Get all the scholarships and free aid you can get. For the high school student every hour you spend in study or homework is worth money in the bank. Those good grades help. Consider the cost of your school. Sometimes big name schools do not offer the best education but have a high price tag. Always consider the long term cost effectiveness of your education.
Live cheap while in school. Stay in the cheaper dorm with 4 roommates. You don't need an expensive spring break (on credit). Work if you can without hurting your grades.
Choose a major that is going to earn you money when you graduate. Sorry most of you liberal arts programs, but I have no desire to make a donation to you so my son cannot be effectively employed.
For those of you trying to afford a home consider these factors:
To those of you that see any of these issues as obstacles (even if you have talked to a lender) shop around and see what else you can find. There are different lending programs and not all lenders have the same programs or even interpret the same programs the same. There are some very low down or even zero down programs. Even if at the end of the day you cannot get the loan now you can set goals and objectives to get there – it is not as hard as it seems.
Cut your debt and learn how to live in a budget. Cutting out the little things can add up to big bucks. Skip the movie theater, go to Redbox and get an on line subscription for movies you think you need.
Learn to cook and stop eating out. Learn to cook cheap food well. I know food prices are going through the roof. I love a good steak, but a pork butt on sale cooks up great for pulled pork and is a lot cheaper.
What is more important – A house or a vacation? Take cheap vacations – go camping.
Shop with coupons, go to garage sales and thrift stores. Consider what you really need. My family likes to play board games. I might spend $50.00 (once in a great while) on a game – but even that is cheaper than taking the family to a movie – and we can play it again and again.
Stop your fancy coffee, get some good creamers and make your own. Some easily spend $30 or $40.00 a week on coffee!
Consider how much home you really need to start. My family and I have lived in 3000 SF plus homes. We could not keep the house up. We now live in 1400 SF with 4 kids at home. We are much happier and life is much simpler. The small starter home may be what you need to work your way up; or it may become an investment property for you as you work your way up.
All I can say is constantly have a dream and a vision for your future and the future of your family. When you have set backs work them out and move forward. And any time you need advise or encouragement call Home Point Real Estate – Our Job is Turning Houses into Homes. We want to help you have a dream and a vision.
Gene Riemenschneider is the Broker and Owner of Home Point Real Estate in Brentwood CA. Serving the East Contra Costa County Communities of Brentwood, Antioch, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pittsburg, and beyond. For Buying, Selling or Investing call 925-260-4321.