5 Things To Know About Homeownership In Your 20s

If we all went by movies and TV shows, our 20s are for getting that first job, having that first “real” relationship, and moving into that first apartment. (And of course, PARTYING.)

But your life doesn’t have to conform to by pop culture’s expectations. You’ve got goals and dreams that may not match up with the latest “group of friends trying to have it all” sitcom.

For example, there’s no rule or law that says you can’t or shouldn’t buy a home in your 20s. It could be the right thing for you — but before you go get a mortgage, please read these things you need to know about becoming a homeowner:

1) You’re not too young to buy.
Like I said above, there’s no rule or law that says you can’t or shouldn’t buy a home. In fact, if you’re in good financial standing (see #2, 3 and 4), it could make sense for you to make the investment and start building equity.

2) Your credit report and credit score both matter. A lot. (And they’re different things.)
A credit report tracks your debts — whether they’re paid off or not — as well as each time you apply for credit (ex.: making major purchases like a car or home). Lenders will look at your report to see if you are a good credit risk.

Your credit score, which is somewhere between 300 – 850, is based on a formula that takes into account your existing debts and limits, your payment history, how many types of credit accounts you have, and a few other variables. The higher your score, the better.

The bottom line: Having a “clean” credit report and a higher credit score can mean you’ll qualify for a better interest rate on your mortgage loan.

3) The bigger the down payment, the better off you are.
To be clear, you can buy a home without putting any money down. But if you are able to put down some money up front (maybe you have some savings or just put away a nice haul of birthday checks), that can help lower your monthly payments — just like you do with a car purchase.

4) Shop around for a good mortgage person and rate.
There are thousands of mortgage lenders out there, and it’s best to meet with a few (or at least call/email several of them) to find one that you connect with. Check the Internet for testimonials and take a peek at their LinkedIn profile, because positive reviews are a great sign.

5) Find a REALTOR® you trust that will work hard on your behalf.
You may have a realtor in your family or circle of friends, and that can work wonderfully. If you don’t know one, or you prefer to keep “personal” and “business” apart, you can do an Internet search (same as above for mortgage lenders), and maybe find a company/broker you like (they range from small, independent brokers to the nationwide companies like Coldwell Banker) or just ask around your personal and professional networks.

The bottom line: Consider your options carefully — and don’t rule out homeownership, regardless of your age.

Whether you’re ready to buy a home in your 20s, 30s , 40s or never, I hope you find this advice helpful!

 

Whatever your age, you need a REALTOR® who understands your needs. Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2014 Shannon Rubin.

How to Buy a Home With Bad Credit

Lots of people are dealing with bad credit. (No judgments here!)

You could have credit issues for a wide variety of reasons:

Maybe you made some bad decisions…

Maybe you were just unlucky…

Or maybe your credit report has errors that you don’t know about— a recent study shows that 1 in 4 Americans have had issues with their credit report.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But it’s not impossible to buy a home with bad credit — maybe tougher than normal, but it can be done. Here’s how:

1) Know your score.

First, you need to know where you stand in the credit world. Find someone you trust who can “pull” your credit. (I don’t usually recommend those “free credit check” websites — they usually require a subscription.)

Once you see what’s on your credit report, it might just mean paying off some credit cards or a medical bill — which could be the difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

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“37% of American adults admit they don’t know their credit score.”

(Source: FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Sallie Mae,
TransUnion, Experian, U.S. Department of Housing;
http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-score-statistics/)

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2) Find a loan officer.

If you already know someone in the business, great. If not, chances are a friend or colleague knows a mortgage loan professional who can help. (I’m happy to refer you to one of my trusted colleagues.)

You definitely need a hard-working pro who you can trust. Their main responsibility is helping you find which loan programs and amounts that you qualify for and fit your budget.

3) Develop your plan of action.

If your credit issues need serious work and you don’t qualify for a mortgage loan right away, you might have to postpone your house purchase — but not forever.

Now that you know what your credit issues are, you can work towards paying off old debts and getting them removed from your credit report.

Also, there may be sellers who will consider working with you by way of asking for a larger down payment. This could require a multi-month plan to save cash for your down payment.

4) Think before you budget.

We’d all like a big mansion for the price of an efficiency apartment. But in reality, it’s crucial to look for a house that fits your budget.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice house in a good neighborhood with exemplary schools and a beautiful park. It just means you need to ask yourself some very important questions:

  • How much of a down payment can you afford?
  • How much of a total monthly payment can you afford?
  • What kind of term loan would you like (how many years — 15, 30, etc.)?
  • What interest rate can you qualify for?
  • What’s your loan-to-value ratio? (Divide mortgage loan amount by the fair market of the home value.)
    Ex.: A $150,000 loan on a home appraised at $200,000 = an LTV of 75%.
    Note: Most mortgage loans with an LTV that’s more than 80% require private mortgage insurance.
  • What can you afford to pay in yearly property taxes?
  • What can you afford to pay for yearly property insurance?

Try the “How Much Can You Afford?” calculator from “Freddie Mac” here.

(Freddie Mac is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.)

Bad credit? Mediocre credit? Good credit? Excellent credit? Whatever your score, I know how to help you find your next home.

Call me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.