Top 4 Homebuying Fears (and How to Face Them)
Homeownership has long been the American Dream, but some fears are holding young adults back from taking part in it. These fears are a natural part of purchasing a home and they are understandable. After all, it's an important financial investment. So, to help you understand what you’re getting yourself into, here are the top four most common fears and the solutions to overcome them.
The burden of paying a mortgage
There’s no doubt that saving for a down payment can seem overwhelming, particularly when you have other financial goals or you’re paying down debt. However, there are many local, state, and federal programs that provide funds for both a down payment and closing costs. With some saving and economizing (as well as a little help from your parents?), you can realize your homeowning dreams.
The fear of the unknown can be really overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. Hidden costs or unanticipated expenses can take everyone by surprise. And it is true - owning a home means being responsible for every little thing that could go wrong, from minor issues to major repairs. That's why, as a general rule, you should expect to spend 1% to 4% of a home's value on upkeep. Newer homes might skew toward the lower, more affordable end of that range, while aging homes might hit that 4% threshold. Planning for maintenance and saving for it in advance can make the process of keeping up a home, an historically appreciating asset, less daunting.
Being locked into a single location
Being stuck in a single location is another fear associated with homeownership. Buying someplace with a strong job market, such as the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, can help alleviate that concern. So, too, can buying in a thriving market where home turnover is abundant (did I mention the Fargo-Moorhead metro area?). That said, it's a smart idea to achieve some degree of career stability before buying a home. Having a steady job makes it more likely that you'll stay put for the sort of time frame required to realize an increase in home equity, thereby minimizing the risk of monetary loss in the event of a quick sale.
Any home will require routine maintenance. Choosing the type of home that aligns with your available time and tolerance for maintenance is a wise idea. Stand-alone properties, for example, require both interior and exterior maintenance (think lawn care and the like). Townhomes often don't have yards, so that's one less thing to worry about. And condos often charge a monthly maintenance fee that covers grounds upkeep and major costs are shared among multiple owners.
Did I miss your biggest fear? Contact me. We'll talk more about whether homeownership is right for you.
----- KIMBERLY VAN HAL | Good to Know® -----
As a residential agent since 1987, Kim has helped home buyers and sellers in the Fargo Moorhead metro area achieve their real estate goals.