HOME for those you LOVE
This Valentines Day, show the people you LOVE you care by investing in “HOME.” Studies have found that homeowners are happier & healthier! Not only does homeownership build long-term wealth, but it fosters an immeasurable sense of stability vital to growing families.
Chase Anderson was equal parts nervous & excited as he drove to pick up his wife Stephanie, from work. It’s Valentine’s Day and he has spent the last month preparing for a surprise that will change their lives forever. Just a short month ago, Chase & Stephanie happened upon an “open house” sign in front of a darling bungalow in the heart of Logan, Utah. Stephanie was raised in a household that always rented, so she dreamed of the day she could have a place to call “home.”
Not surprising, they fell in love with the house, and in the days that followed, it was all Stephanie could talk about. Chase, unsure if they would qualify, enlisted the help of a local REALTOR®. Together, they found a lender that had a loan program that fit his needs, and put in an offer that was accepted… all without Stephanie knowing a single thing. Today won’t be a “chocolates & flowers” kind of Valentine’s Day. It will be the day Chase makes Stephanie’s dream of “home” her reality.
During the month of LOVE, what could possibly be more romantic that talking about purchasing a home with your sweetheart? While it might be too late to plan the ultimate Valentine’s Day surprise like Chase did, it’s never too late to get the conversation started. Nothing shows your loved ones how much you care than the possibility of a HOME in their near future. Instead of spending time thinking about what to buy your special someone, instead consider all the benefits that come with homeownership – financial & social. They’re lasting gifts with significant return!
FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP
INCREASED NET WORTH
The Federal Reserve estimates that the net worth of a Renter sits at roughly $5,400, while that of a homeowner is over $195,400!
Your costs are predictable and more stable than renting because they’re ideally based on a fixed-rate mortgage.
Homes typically increase in value, build equity with each mortgage payment and provide a next egg for your future.
SOCIAL BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP
STABILITY TO COMMUNITIES
Homeowners move far less frequently than rents, bring stability to neighborhoods & communities. This strengthens social ties among neighbors, who then work together to promote a safe & orderly environment in their area. They are more invested in their community and tend to care more for their property.
Better educational outcomes are linked to homeownership. Studies show the decision to stay in school by teenagers is higher for those raised in home-owning parents. The life management skills & behavior needed to maintain a home is seen to transfer to the children of homeowners.
Homeowners have a financial interest in ensuring that their unit is well-maintained and repaired. Landlords charge rents based on the expected level of “use” that will be caused by their tenants, whereas, homeowners have a financial interest in ensuring their property is cared for and well-maintained.
Homeowners have a much greater financial stake in their neighborhoods than renters. Because of this, several studies have found that homeowners tend to be more involved in their communities than renters. For example, homeowners were found to be more politically active than renters, participating in elections much more frequently than renters.
In addition to being more satisfied with their own personal situation than renters, homeowners also enjoy better physical and psychological health. Homeowners report higher self-esteem & happiness than renters. They are more likely to believe that they can do things as well, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health.
Research on crime and homeownership shows that homeowners are far less likely to become crime victims. It is easier to recognize a perpetrator of crime in a stable neighborhood with extensive social ties. The results are congruent with sociologists’ theories of social disorganization, or a breakdown in social bonds, family and neighborhood association.
Before you renew your rental contract, meet with a local REALTOR® and find out if homeownership is possible in your near future. Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.
IT'S TIME FOR YOUR PIECE OF "HAPPINESS"
Owning a home is different from renting. With a home purchase comes the pride of ownership and the sense of belonging in a community where one has a financial stake in the neighborhood. Or perhaps it’s because homeowners are “happier” just from having achieved the so-called “American Dream.”
Read through the simple steps below & find out what steps you need to take to become a homeowner… lifes next great milestone.
CHOOSE A REALTOR®… The first step in the home-buying process is to find an agent you feel comfortable working with on what will likely be the largest financial decision of your life. Ask friends and family members for referrals, and interview several real estate agents. Choose a Realtor® who communicates well, has your best interest at heart, and puts you first. A good agent will make sure you don’t pay too much for your new home and can deal with the unexpected hurdles that may arise during the process.
GET PRE-QUALIFIED… Once you’ve chosen a real estate agent you trust to be your advocate, ask him or her to recommend, either an organization or a person who will lend you money so you can buy your home. A local Realtor® has experience working with mortgage brokers and title companies in the area and can recommend the right person to fit your needs. Choosing someone to handle the financial part of the home-buying process can feel like a scary step, but choosing a lender that’s competitive on rates, communicative, and available is key.
BEGIN THE SEARCH… Now comes the fun part! Once you know what your purchasing power is, talk with your real estate agent about your ideal home. Come up with a few “musts,” as well as “wants” you’d ultimately be willing to compromise on. When you begin touring homes that are on your short list, take along a notepad and jot down your thoughts as you approach each home. Can you imagine yourself living there?
HOLD TIGHT THROUGH UNTIL CLOSING… Your Realtor® will walk you through the steps required to make an offer on your chosen home. Once your offer to purchase is accepted, you’ll work with your lender to get final approval for your home purchase by the date specified for the closing. The due diligence process usually includes getting a home inspection to make sure you haven’t missed any hidden problems on your walk-throughs. If issues are found, negotiate for the current owner to fix them or take the cost of repair off the closing costs. Once all of the above steps are completed, you’ll be on your way to the closing, where the deed to the home is transfered from seller… to you!