Think You Can’t Buy a Home? Talk to Me.
By Kris Kesling-Hays, Sales Associate, Preferred Properties of Sarasota
One of the greatest joys in my long career in mortgages and real estate, is watching homebuyers, who were previously crippled by the thought that they could never own their own home, be given the keys to their first house. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me, even when it took us months, in some cases years, to get to that moment.
Oh, there are obstacles to buying a home. You bet. But with some planning and effort, it can be done. If you are serious about home ownership, the very first thing to do is talk to me. Or someone like me, but preferably, me.
Kidding aside, understanding what those elusive obstacles are is key in overcoming them. The #1 obstacle to homeownership is saving for a down payment. Do you even know how much of a down payment you need to save? That depends. The next obstacle is having dings on your credit. Or too much credit. Or not enough credit.
How much of a monthly payment do you qualify for? Equally important, how much of a monthly payment do you feel comfortable with? Is your employment stable? If your self employed, how much of your reported income will be used to qualify for a mortgage? You need to discuss these things with someone (me) who can help you understand them and make them work for you.
And that’s just the mortgage side. What about real estate? Are home prices rising or falling? What is the inventory of homes for sale in the area where you want to live? You need a professional to help you wade through this information and make an intelligent decision.
I mentioned that it sometimes took years to get some customers to the closing table. That’s not an exaggeration. Lenders typically look for at least 2 years of stability in the same employment field. They look for 2 years of credit stability, with on-time payments and not a lot of new credit. It takes time for some folks to get to that stage and I have stayed with them along the way.
Recently, Preferred Properties joined forces with Home Partners of America who has an interesting program for people who wish to buy a home, but for one reason or another, are not quite ready. It’s a pretty simple program, really. You find a home you want to buy. If the property meets Home Partners’ criteria, they buy it and turn around and lease it to you. The minimum lease period is 1 year, and you can rent it for up to 5 years. At any time during the lease period, you can buy the property for a price that you’ve already agreed to. You can find more details on our website, www.prefhomes.net, or by talking to someone who knows things. (Me.)