If you haven’t noticed, home prices are sky high now and have been on a growing trend for the past couple years. It is becoming more and more difficult for individuals and especially millennials to buy their first home. While a home is not an asset until it’s paid for, it is still an aspiration and a dream for many. Consequently, making the right decision is important to avoid any financial disaster.
Most people do not get any financial education whether at home or through their basic education. When it comes to major financial decisions such as purchasing a home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, they either feel lost or make guesses and end up paying for it. If you’re reading this article, help is coming. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Zainab Hawksley, an entrepreneur who is helping millennials and others make a successful entry into home ownership. Zainab is raising up the next generation of property owners, educating and informing them about the unknowns of real estate.
In her own words, here is what Zainab would tell you if you sat down with her and asked her for tips on homeownership.
When I bought my first home I didn’t know many of the important components of the process. I didn’t know what made a good realtor, what made a good lender, or what to look for when searching. I began my realtor journey last year and its been an interesting learning curve. My main advice would be:
1. Once you get your credit pulled by a lender to get preapproval, you should talk to other lenders and you don’t need your credit pulled again. This way you can also find the best rate. You’ll have the best opportunity to find a lender that will give you the best interest rate and the mortgage amount you are looking for.
2. Choose a lender you can get along with and that has the best availability. Weekends especially if you are looking for open houses and want to put in an offer.
3. Choose a realtor that not only knows what they are doing but one that will walk you through every contract you are reading. My realtor just told me what the contracts were about superficially and not by section. Luckily I read through and brought up errors I found.
4. Know the neighborhood and talk to the neighbors. Your realtor can’t tell you about the demographics or things that would violate fair housing. It helps to talk with the people or find neighborhood Facebook or community groups to really understand if that is a community you want to be in.
5. Know what will be coming to the community or near it. When developments like a luxury mall or a downtown center are planned for the neighborhood, you usually see a faster increase in property value. It is best to think of your home as if you are an investor buying a property to resell or rent out. Not many people think of what exit strategies they have for their property when buying. Homes are investments but where you buy the home is what determines if it is a good or bad investment.
These are great, exceptional tips and I hope you will leverage them. Home buying is simple but can’t be very negative experience if some structure is not followed. You now have a bleprint.