Don’t Let Owning a Home Scare You
Vampires, witches, and ghouls that go bump in the night may have you shivering with fright. But don’t let owning a home top your list of blood-curdling terrors this Halloween. Guardian Mortgage is here to lessen your fears and ease the panic that may come with homeownership.
From Millennials to Boomers, homeownership comes with several key benefits, including the freedom to showcase your personality, tax benefits, and appreciation in home values. But according to the August 2021 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey Data*, 63% of respondents felt now was a bad time to purchase a home.
Several thoughts may scare you away from homeownership. We’ll examine the top five homeownership fears, and show you how what could be considered “frightening” might be less spooky than it seems.
Homeownership Fear # 1: I’ll Never Save Enough for A Down Payment
The thought of saving enough money to put down on a home may have some prospective homebuyers shivering in their boots. Contrary to popular belief, however, a down payment for a home loan may not cost as much as you think. There are several mortgage options available, such as Guardian Mortgage’s HomeReady loan, that offer low down payment options. State-sponsored government assistance programs are also available to aid qualified buyers who don’t have enough for a down payment.
Homeownership Fear # 2: The Market Is Too Crazy
It’s true, the housing market in 2021 is booming. It’s a seller’s market and homebuyers often find themselves outbid and with limited time to make a homebuying decision. It’s no wonder many potential homebuyers are afraid they’ll overspend or be pressured into making a poor housing decision.
But with mortgage interest rates hovering around historical lows, 2021 can be a great time for people to enter the housing market.
If you make a plan and stick with it, you can still find the house of your dreams instead of your nightmares. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Review your finances and use online calculators to determine how much house you can afford. Set your max house price and stick to it. Finally, employ a team of professionals to help you on your homebuying journey. From your real estate agent to your mortgage lender, your team is here to help you turn your home buying dreams into a reality.
Homeownership Fear # 3: I Can’t Afford To Own a House
For many, a house payment is as frightening as a fire-breathing dragon – wings and talons outstretched. It’s too massive and can’t be tamed.
In reality, the average monthly mortgage payment for a US homeowner is $1,275 for a 30-year fixed mortgage (median: $1,609). The national average rent** for a two-bedroom rental runs $1,949. This varies by location. However, when you look at the cost of an average mortgage vs. the average rent, a mortgage seems much more affordable.
Several tools are available to help you determine how much house you can afford. Guardian Mortgage’s Home Mortgage Calculator will take you through a tried and true formula to determine your estimated mortgage payment based on home price, loan term, mortgage rate, and down payment. Using this tool will help you pinpoint your max house price and stay within your desired home mortgage budget.
If you start saving early, and lean on experts such as Guardian Mortgage’s team of professionals to guide you through the financial process of homeownership, you’ll find homeownership much more attainable.
Homeownership Fear # 4: No Landlord = Maintenance Nightmares
If you’ve ever traipsed through a haunted house on a dark October night, you know the uncertainty that comes from never knowing what lurks behind the next turn. But go back to the same haunted house in the light of day, and you’ll find that without the smoke and mirrors things aren’t as bad as they seem.
Many prospective homeowners fear the responsibility that comes with homeownership. After having a landlord available to take care of leaks, broken fixtures, and other home repairs, the idea of being solely responsible for all home maintenance items can spook them away from taking the plunge and purchasing a home.
In today’s market, where many homebuyers are foregoing inspections to make their offer more attractive, prospective home buyers may be afraid of skeletons in the closet.
You can relieve some of the stress that comes with the responsibility of maintenance by changing your mindset. Instead of “responsibility,” consider the “opportunity” that lies in doing things yourself and learning new skills. You’ll find there are several repairs you can manage yourself. It will save you money, and may even turn into a hobby. For those repairs you need an expert for, know that you’re in charge. Unlike with a landlord, you have the opportunity to hire the professional that best fits your needs – whether it’s cost, quality or timing. While both these options may be more expensive than having your landlord “just take care of it,” you’ll know that the repairs and maintenance work are done to your standards. If you’re still concerned about potential skeletons in the closet, a home warranty can ease some of your fears.
Homeownership Fear # 5: I’ll Be Trapped in a Mortgage
Fear of commitment can strike in many scenarios, homeownership included. Many fear that they will be chained to their house, unable to move to a new location due to the bondage of their mortgage payment. But as you live in your home, you gain equity that unlocks your imaginary chains.
Equity is the difference between what you still owe on your home’s mortgage and your home’s value. You begin paying down your mortgage, and perhaps you experience appreciation in your neighborhood. You also might engage in a sensible home remodeling or renovation project. All this builds equity, providing you with more flexibility to sell and relocate if you desire a move. Otherwise, as long as you plan wisely and stay on top of your payments, you shouldn’t have to worry about being trapped in a mortgage.
Homeownership doesn’t have to be spooky. Save the frightened feelings for the movies and haunted houses this fall. Guardian Mortgage is here to help you every step of the way as you embark on your homebuying journey.
* “August 2021 Data Release Home Purchase Sentiment Index®,” Fannie Mae®, August 25, 2021.
** “Rent Report, September 2021: The State of the Rental Market,” Apartment Guide, September 20, 2021.