I know that I always dreamed of buying a home. That’s the American Dream, right? But for a big part of my life renting made the most sense for me. Then two years ago I bought my first home and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But home ownership may not be right for everybody. Of course there are plenty of good reasons to own the roof over your head, both emotional and financial. But you’ve got to ask yourself some serious questions before you take that deep dive into home ownership. Questions like:
1. Why do I want to buy a home? Purchasing a home is a lifestyle choice. Begin to think about the type of community where you want to live. If you’re a first-time buyer, you will need stability in your career and the desire to commit. You should want to establish roots in a neighborhood. Homeownership can also be a powerful way to increase your personal wealth for you and your family, since you’ll be building equity as you pay off your mortgage.
2. Is my financial “house” in order? If your employment situation feels secure and you’re prepared to stay in one place for a while, you might be ready to buy. Ideally, you’ve saved at least 20% for a down payment but there are new mortgage loan options that could potentially make your down payment as little as 3.5%. Believe it, it’s true! It’s also possible that your mortgage payment would be less than what you are currently paying in rent. But don’t forget the closing costs, insurance, taxes, money for repairs, and furnishings to turn the house to a livable home. These days mid-century modern sofas don’t come cheap.
3. Am I ready to settle down? Home prices, on average, appreciate around three percent per year. In the past 5 years we have definitely seen appreciation in all of our neighborhoods including Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz. And don’t even get me started on Glassell Park, which went up 25% last year. That being said the old rule of thumb is buyers should stay at their new address for as little as three years to as long as seven years. Or, of course, forever! But whatever life throws at you, you can always rent your home out.
4. Can I fix a leak? No longer having a landlord is certainly a blessing, but owning a home requires either the ability to fix problems that may arise or the resources to pay others to fix them. With sites like Youtube, you may be able to become an ace at fixing household problems. Trust me, leaks are easier to fix than you may think!
By Tatiana Tensen, The EastSide Agent
Let’s face it – renting can be a major bummer. But the idea of buying your first home can seem daunting to say the very least. When I was first bit by the real estate bug, I knew I wanted to stop throwing money away at rent each month but I had no idea where to even start. Or even who to ask.
Now that I’m a real estate agent, I can help other newbies like I once was get started. So come on down to my stress-free, everything-you-need-to-know in one hour or less LA Home Buyer Bootcamp! I will not only give you an overview of the buying process but I will also go over how to start a savings plan, whether you’re a year away from buying or five years. Plus we’ll talk about what the market is like right now and I’ll give you tips on how to win those annoying multiple offer situations.
When: Saturday, October 7th 11am – 12pm
and every first Saturday of every month!
Where: Sotheby’s Los Feliz
1801 N Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
She is a real estate agent at Sotheby’s International Realty. Tatiana lives in Los Feliz in a 1912 craftsman home that she and her husband, Sam, are carefully restoring and renovating. Tatiana is also a former contestant on The Price is Right.