Owning a Home is Impossible! Or is it?
As I write this blog, I am sitting in my condominium in Palm Springs with a smile knowing I made the right decision to leave the world of renting and become a homeowner. This account of my journey is a testament to those reading who have doubts about the ability to afford and purchase their own home.
I rented apartments and homes ever since I left my parents home after college. I did not think I could possibly afford a home. I struggled for years and my credit was less than perfect like a lot of people out there.
The first thing I did after saving for a couple of years were to enlist a smart and trust worthy real estate Agent/Broker. My agent was excellent and her experience offered me guidance that I needed to move forward. We checked my FICO Score and it was low. All banks look at your FICO score to determine your credit worthiness and you need to improve your FICO rating in order to qualify for a loan with a manageable interest rate. The first thing she said to me was to CLEAN UP Your CREDIT!
I hired a credit specialist and paid $500 for the service. They immediately contacted all my creditors listed on my report and over time, these old debts were removed from credit report. This was the best $500 I have ever spent and I highly recommend anyone, in the same boat as I was, to do the same. It’s WORTH IT! I did not have the time to go over each debt I had accumulated over time and they will do this for you! It takes some time but this is time well spent and sure enough, my credit score improved after about 6 months.
I then qualified for a good fixed rate loan at a decent interest rate and started looking at houses and condos. I decided to buy a condo as my first home due to a lower price point. In addition, condos tend to have lower maintenance costs and this was appealing to me.
I looked at homes for about 6 months and finally saw “The One”. I bought a 2-bedroom condominium in Palm Springs close to downtown, and tennis courts I often play on.
I am VERY HAPPY with my decision as my money is now working for me, and my home has appreciated in less than a year! In addition, there are several tax advantages including writing off your home mortgage interest up to $750,000. I am not going to say it was without its stresses. All of my fears were up when I was in escrow but I spoke with my realtor and my sister who also is a realtor in SF, and it really helped me to see my fears were based on an old image of myself. Owning my home gave me a feeling of personal achievement and power that I did not know was lacking.
This story is to encourage anyone reading this to start the process of buying your own home. It takes time and effort but the rewards of owning a home are far greater than you might expect. Most homes tend to increase in value and this is the best investment you can make with your monies, if you buy at the right price, and the right time, with the right realtor. I hope this helps motivates you to become a homeowner.
YOU CAN DO It!
David Elman, Palm Springs, CA 2018
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