I bought my first house within a few months of being married in my early 20's. I honestly had no idea what I was doing, but I knew that I did not want to throw my money away on rent payments. My wife and I worked on our budget, researched different areas, and bought our first home right off the bat. Looking back, it was one of the most exciting times of our lives. We have so many wonderful memories of our kids being born and growing up in that first house. We lived there for more than five years, which is the longest that we have lived anywhere to date. If we would have rented and moved around during those times, my family's memories of these early times would have been much different. I am very glad that we jumped right into home ownership in our first few months of marriage.
Owning a home is one of the greatest foundations to build memories. I am more aware of this now than ever. Looking back through family pictures always triggers memories from the homes that we lived in and each home was special for its own reasons. When my wife and I look for a home these days, we are truly searching for a property that will create wonderful memories. It's our #1 priority.
Have you been feeling the urge to own your own house and build some solid memories there? Are you tired of paying increasing rental rates and watching your money go into your landlord's pocket every month? Maybe you have some very specific design ideas, but you can't apply them to your current living situation. Are you living under someone else's roof and ready to own your own place? There are many different circumstances that motivate people to purchase their first house. Knowing the right time in your life to buy a home is an important part of the process.
Here are some common signs that you may be ready to buy your first home:
1.) You're Career is Moving Forward.
Money is usually the largest motivating factor when purchasing your first home. If you are fresh out of college and just starting your career, purchasing a home may not be the best idea when your financial future is so uncertain. Moreover, if you have started your career and are confident that you are going to continue growing in the career path you have chosen, then purchasing a home makes sense for many reasons. The pride that comes with owning a home can boost your confidence as a young professional and help drive you to succeed. This was my experience many years ago.
Owning real estate is a sign of maturity. Just look around your work environment. Can you tell a difference between those who own and those who lease property? Would your boss treat you different if he/she knew that you owned real estate and were invested in your community? Owning a home can help you feel more established and be a serious boost to your career.
2.) Your City is Truly Your Home
I love Colorado Springs. It's my home. I have lived in Washington, Idaho, Georgia, and Texas within my lifetime, and no place has ever felt as much like home to me as Colorado Springs. This is my hometown and I have no desire to live anywhere else. If you are uncertain whether you will be living in the same city you are in right now over the next year or two, purchasing a property may be a bad idea. On the other hand, if you love your city and know that you will be there for a long time, purchasing a home is a great idea.
As a homeowner, you will most likely feel more connected to the overall well-being of the area in which you live. When a new park is put into your neighborhood, it means much more when you actually owned property within that area. It is common for tenants to move around every year, or so. Homeowners typically move every five years on average. For this reason homeowners are more involved in the local political issues since they have more at stake by owning property in the community. If you enjoy the city in which you live, owning a home is a great way to commit to your local area. Homeowners are the heart of the city!
3.) Love is in the Air
I work with many different first-time homebuyers every month. One of the most common reasons for purchasing a home that I see is for a new couple to solidify a relationship by purchasing a home to build a life together. Homeownership feels much more stable and permenant than renting property. For this reason, couple feel a strong urge to buy a home together as a way of commiting to each other. Deciding to purchase a home with the new love of your life is a big commitment. A home is one of the most solid foundations to build lasting memories as a new couple. For this reason, purchasing a home is usually the first step that couples make once they are serious about moving forward in their relationship.
If you are engaged to be married, or have been with your current partner for a long while, it may be time to think about purchasing your first house together. When I was younger I thought of real estate as just a monetary transaction. Now, I think of a home as a place to invest in memories and close life expereinces with my family. The most important people in my life are the ones living under my roof. My home is my sacuary from the world and the only place I can truly relax. My wife and I have lived in many homes throughout the years, and when I think back on them I do not even remember what we paid for them. The first thing that comes to mind are holiday get-togethers, my kids birthday parties, and many other special memories that happened while we lived in the home. This is what makes owning a home such a privilege as a young couple. Nothing compares to building wonderful memories in your own home.
4.) You've Been Renting Long Enough
It's rare that I meet a first-time buyer in their 40's (or older), but it does happen. For some people, life just gets too busy to think about purchasing a home and so they get stuck in the routine of renting. This becomes an obvious problem when you look back over the last 5 years (or more) and calculate the amount of rent that you have spent during that time. Take those numbers and put them into a home mortgage calculator and you will soon realize that you could be sitting on tens of thousands of dollars of equity if you would have bought a home years ago, rather than putting it off.
If you have been renting for more than two years and you are fairly confident that you will be within the same city you're in right now in the future, you're probably ready to buy your first home. The longer you wait, the more money you are losing every month with your rental payments. It's great for landlords, but bad for everyone else!
5.) You've Got The Home Improvement Bug
My wife and I love to work on home improvement projects. We have purchased multiple distressed properties and remodeled them as a side business because it is something that we enjoy doing. The hardest part about renting for me would be not being able to alter a property or remodel in any way while I'm living there. One of the greatest benefits of owning a home is that you can do anything you want to it (within obvious parameters) to make it your own place. Some landlords will let you paint and redecorate a property before you move in, but all of your hard work and expenses are for their benefit, since they own the property.
I like to take at least one day a month just to work around my house. Whether I am landscaping, painting, or doing a full remodel of our kitchen, I am only able to do so because I own the property that I live in. If you are like me and you enjoy working on home improvement projects, then you should get excited at the opportunity of owning your first house. The reality of working on home improvement projects only exists when you own your own place!
So, what's the verdict? Have any of the five points above hit home with you at all? If so, don't be afraid. Click on the image below to be taken to an Extensive Guide for First-Time Homebuyers. There is an easy-to-follow infographic, along with an extensive article detailing each step of the home buying process. If you have any questions about purchasing a home in the Colorado Springs area, please feel free to reach out to me. I'm here to help whenever you need me. :)
Hi there! I'm Andrew Fortune, a REALTOR in Colorado Springs, CO and the owner of Great Colorado Homes. Real estate is a passion of mine. I enjoy writing for home buyers and sellers to help simplify the process in a visual format. I also enjoy writing for Realtors and sharing some of the technology tricks I've learned over the years. Feel free to contact me directly, or leave a comment in the comment section below. :-)
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