The concept of owning a home has always been this unobtainable dream of mine. While working in the field of real estate, I’ve seen the ins and outs of the home buying experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness closings, and see Buyers receive their keys to their new home. The joy, tears, and even a final sigh of relief that they have reached the last page of this chapter in their lives. The sense of accomplishment that radiates in their disposition is contagious.
When asked “You know so much about this process, how was it when you bought your home?” I paused almost embarrassed already working a laundry list of reasons as to why I wasn’t a homeowner. I’ve practiced this process of reasons from change of employment to enjoying the ability to pick up and live in a new area every year of my choosing, to even saying that I enjoy someone else being responsible for any broken appliances and having a peace of mind that things are taken care of by another party. Mentally, as I’m processing these white lies, I’m reminded that I have to write an email to my landlord yet again for the leaking sink, and run to the bank by 5:00 pm to deposit the rental check as detailed specifically in our lease agreement. I have to remind myself to paint over the scuffs and crayon marks my nephews left during their last visit just in case the landlord plans on doing a walk through during the sink repair process. It was in that moment that I realized the reason why I haven’t taken the next step in purchasing a home.
Fear. Fear of taking the next step. Fear of living in a state of constant worry, as I was residing in someone else’s home, and not my own. Fear that my deposit would be docked for infractions of artistic masterpieces made by my 4-year-old twin nephews. I stop and ponder how I would react if this was my home. I would see myself taking photos, or even framing the artwork. Instead of experiencing the joy or even finding the humor in the matter, I’m overcome with a sense of fear, of resolving the matter quickly to avoid a penalty. It was in that moment I reached the conclusion that this is not a way to live.
I understand renting as a form of living, and majority of the individuals I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with are under the impression that they have to rent for their entire lives because they “can’t afford a mortgage.” That mind frame is extremely common, and false. As a housing adviser it’s my responsibility to show you the way to making that mentality nonexistent. The phrase we constantly repeat is: “If you can afford rent, you can afford a mortgage. In essence, you are paying someone else’s mortgage. Why not your own?”
Making the decision to buy a home is not a small feat. It will require patience, effort, financial stability, a positive recent credit history, and a relatively reasonable deposit to secure the contact. At R.E.A.C.H, we offer a First Time Home Buyers Class which goes into detail of the entire home buying process. Professionals within the field are present donating their time to meet with potential home buyers and answer any questions in detail. Taking this class and receiving certification also opens the doors to learning about grant assistance programs to help make this dream of owning a home a reality. My recommendation would be to stop living in fear, and make the REACH. We’ll be there to help.