I must say…the house was really cute and absolutely perfect for my first time homebuyer. She loved it and was ready to write an offer that day. An owner of the franchise I was with at the time referred her to me and she had been pre-approved by an unknown lender using down payment assistance. I was ready to ask for closing costs for her so she would have very little out of pocket expense to buy her first home. It was an adorable 1-bedroom condo not far from the school where she had just been hired as a teacher.
We sat down in the condo to talk things over and I asked a very simple question: after you pay your mortgage, homeowner’s dues, car payment, car insurance, and your school loan how much money do you think you’ll have left over? Her answer was “oh it’ll be fine. I have about $50!”. Ummmm….yeah ….she was NOT ready to buy a house no matter what the lender told her. That meant no fuel in her car, no lunches out, no movie nights with friends, etc. Get my point?
Buying a house isn’t all about what the lender tells you that you can afford based on your credit score, income, and debt. It’s also about the lifestyle you want to live and being prepared for emergencies. And hey….let’s not forget new clothes, new shoes, vacations, or golf on Saturdays.
Want my homebuyer’s guide to help you prepare the way for a home purchase? Just shoot me an email and I’ll send it out to you right away. Meanwhile, get the old fashioned piggy bank out of the storage box from when you were a kid and start saving! Then, let’s find the best house for you!
By the way, that teacher? Well, she didn’t buy and that was a good thing. She decided to stay at home with her parents a little longer to be in a better position to buy. She thanked me for being honest with her and helping her to think through the process avoiding what could’ve been a huge financial disaster for her. The year was 2006 and the market was about to tank….whew! That was a close one!