OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO HOMEOWNERSHIP
June is National Homeownership Month, and as Americans celebrate the benefits of owning a home, many still eagerly hope that the American Dream will be a reality for them sometime soon.
While some of the barriers to homeownership are out of one’s control or can take years to overcome, there are three barriers homeowners can blast through right now to get closer to having the keys in their hands.
Make a Mindset Shift
Our mind believes what we feed it, so we ought to feed it well. Many people have limiting beliefs that they will never own a home – and they are wrong. By simply shifting their mindset from “I can’t” to “I can,” they will put the wheels in motion to overcome the other barriers. Start today with writing down the goal of owning a home. Hang it up and tell yourself every day that this dream will be a reality. Then, focus on what you need to do to make it happen. Best of all, you don’t have to do it all on your own!
Partner with a Real Estate Agent
- They have industry experience dealing with everything from inspections to selecting a lending option, which can save you time and money.
- They can guide you with your negotiations and save you money and headaches during the transaction.
- It’s like having a personal assistant search for homes that meet your criteria and delivering you the best options in your price point. They even have access to homes not yet listed on the internet.
- You don’t have to pay a real estate agent any money unless and until you purchase your home.
- And, if you work with a Keller Williams agent, you benefit from their exclusive tools and training unmatched by any other real estate company in the world!
Make Decisions Based on Hope, Not Fear
The third thing you can do today to bring you closer to owning a home tomorrow is letting go of any fears or negative views about homeownership. Experts agree that even almost 10 years after the mortgage crisis and national recession, many people still have a fear of owning a home. Others worry that owning a home restricts their ability to move until they sell their home. One word for that fear … investment! Owning a home is an investment. True that all investments come with some risks; however, they can be minimized. Also, just because you bought the home doesn’t mean that only you can live there. If you decide one day you want to move, you can sell your home or use it as a rental investment property. This is another reason partnering with a real estate agent is a good idea. They can help you sell or rent your home when you are ready.
Now that you have three things you can work on today, let’s take a look at six other barriers to homeownership and what you can do to overcome them:
- Saving for a Down Payment. Even though it is possible to put down as little as 3 percent on a home purchase, would-be home buyers still claim that the main barrier to owning a home is not having a down payment. Set a goal, even if it is a small amount, and save for your dream. Cut overhead expenses where you can – it will add up, and before you know it, you will have a down payment.
- Having Poor Credit. Like saving for the down payment, repairing credit takes time. But your past credit doesn’t have to define your future goals. The best part about poor credit is that you can fix it. Consider working with a credit counselor to guide you with the activities you can do to expedite increasing your credit score.
- Limited Lending Options. Even once you have the down payment saved, you still need to be approved for the home mortgage. Lending restrictions may put a damper on what type of loan you may qualify for, which will ultimately limit which homes you can afford to purchase. Make a list of your “must-haves” and your “wants” so that you can determine your home price range. Then, work with a real estate agent to find homes in that range and start conversations with various lenders to qualify for a loan that at least covers a home with your must-haves. Your wants can come later!
- Job Uncertainty. Many people fear buying a home because they don’t feel that they have job security, or their job is one that may require them to relocate on short notice. Statistically, however, a home mortgage is generally less than rent. Selecting a home in a reasonable price range that fits your current financial status or is even slightly below is a good first step to overcoming this barrier.
- Student Loan Debt. Many people want to pay off all their debt, including student loan debt, before they save for or purchase a home. Additionally, some student loan repayments might be so high that they leave little money available to cover a mortgage payment. If you feel that your student loan debt is holding you back from owning a home, talk to lenders to find out their professional recommendations. You are not alone with this and there are answers available!
- Inventory Shortages. As the housing market shifts, so does inventory. Currently, the market is hot and there are more buyers than homes to be bought. This is another reason why hiring a real estate agent to help with the process will be a huge benefit.