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Are you house hunting or about to start? Learn how you can buy the right house for you and your budget.
Before he became a financial coach, Jon White was in many ways like some of his clients. He was enjoying his life, finances were alright as he wasn't spending extravagantly.
As years passed, some of his friends decided to move forward on their American Dream – and that included buying a home.
Avoid House Fever and Myths
Even though had a background in accounting, Jon wasn't immune to house fever.
Jon kept hearing from his friends how great home ownership was. Many comments he heard matched what we used to hear too.
Some of my ‘favorites' include:
- “Renting is throwing away money.”
- “Home ownership helps you build equity.”
- “Real estate is an investment that will pay off.”
While it may be well-intentioned or based on their personal experience, these comments may not be true for your circumstances.
You have to really look at the costs before you buy a house. Besides the obvious, there are expenses that homeowners may have that renters don't.
Taking care of your own maintenance is a big one.
Depending on where you live, you may find yourself buying property that is a part of an additional expense – a home association.
Before you buy a place that's a part of a home association:
- Know the bylaws.
- Check with residents. See if they're happy or not.
- Ask about fees over the last few years. Have they been increasing? Why?
- See what are the HOA's responsibilities and which would be yours.
Jon found out the hard way when he was hit with $5k special assessment!
Taking Time to Buy the Right House
Fast forward a few years, Jon got married. He and his wife used the principles and baby steps of Dave Ramsey to build their finances together.
Eventually they became parents and that's when they began to consider selling the condo and getting another house with some more space.
Seeing where things went wrong, Jon was determined to not let the same thing happen with their next house.
He and his wife started with running the numbers themselves.
Knowing what they could afford proved to beneficial as they were tempted with one house during their search.
While they didn't get that one, they did find a house that suited their family and was within their budget.
Now years later, they're both happy with where they are.
Thoughts on Becoming a Homeowner
Jon goes into detail about the mistakes he made when he purchased his condo in 2006 and what he and his wife did right with their current home.
Are you planning on buying a house? What are you looking for in your next place?