Having spent more than a decade in Seattle in seven apartments and six roommates, I always had the desire to own a home. Sharing rent with others helped save a significant amount of money, and it helped me meet some good friends along the way.
My experiences with roommates were undoubtedly memorable; I can say that I was lucky. Nevertheless, I always craved to enjoy the stability that came with being a homeowner. I changed for a while, but I was fortunate to get a stable job in the fall of 2018. With the house idea still lingering in mind, I became a ‘proud’ homeowner last summer.
I can say that buying a house can be challenging, especially for a single like me who has to work around one income stream. Getting a mortgage with a modest income was hard; saving up for the down payment and having to convince lenders that I was equal to the task with a single income stream. But I did it. Here is what you can learn from my experiences, whether you’re looking to go for a let to buy scheme or any other option out there.
You have a dream
It would be best if you always thought about the life that you want to live. Assess your current situation and decide whether you would like to own your house in the future. If you need one, then you need to work towards making this dream a reality.
In most instances, big financial decisions become life decisions. As far as investing in a new home, pay attention as yourself the following questions:
- Do you find the city appealing?
- How does this investment affect your financial goals?
- Is the home just about a partner, a family, or me?
If your mind is made that buying a house is the way to go, I recommend that you start doing some homework and getting some advice on homeownership matters. I engaged a local non-profit organization that offers homebuyer education, loans, and other home-buying resources. I learned that I had to start by paying off my student loans and start saving my loan down payment.
Based on their recommendations, I set my eyes on putting down a ‘solid’ down payment. At the same time, I kept engaging multiple realtors to get a better perspective on property prices, and most importantly, the amount of money that I had to set aside.
It took me several years to save for a home. When I felt that I had enough money to live the dream, I engaged the realtor, whom I felt was on my side and shared my interests. And true to my expectations, he did not disappoint. He made it a lot easier for me to get a loan, thanks to his extensive real estate business connections. Have a support system.
Saving for the house is just one part of the equation. Living your dream can be stressful. You need a lot of patience and endurance because there are times when you might wonder if you will ever get the right house in your price range.
In light of this, you have to get people you trust around you, preferably those with some experience in real estate. Although the choice is yours to make, it is advisable to have someone you count on your side. It was easy for me because I had the privilege of working with a realtor whom I trusted. And of course, a couple of friends.
Actualising your dream
There is a lot that goes into the process of buying a home. Money plays a vital role, and it is tough to figure out how to balance your finances when you are just about to make the most significant financial decision of your life. Personally, my motivation and confidence in actualizing my dream of being a homeowner were vital.