For most of us, buying a home is the biggest purchase we’ll ever make. If it’s our first time going through the home-buying process, we often feel nervous, tense and confused. There’s nothing wrong with this – after all, we’re about to spend a lot of money – but only if we are worrying about the right things.
Below are five common myths about homeownership, which we’ve taken the liberty to debunk for your peace of mind. Remember, when it comes to most things in life, it’s better to focus on the facts and forget about the fiction.
Myth #1: You can’t get a loan unless you have perfect credit.
While it’s true that your credit score will affect your mortgage loan approval and interest rate, very few people have a “perfect” score of 850. Most people’s scores actually fall between 600 and 700. The higher your score, the better your options will be. However, credit scores aren’t the only thing lenders factor into their loans. They’ll also look at the amount of debt you have, your job history, and your down payment. However, if your credit score is below 500, it may be worth it to wait a year or two and focus on improving that number before you start house hunting.
Myth #2: Most homes these days end up in foreclosure.
The recent mortgage crisis scared many would-be home buyers, and made them stick with rentals longer than they might have. Even now, people are wary about buying a home, worried that they won’t be able to make payments. The good news is that following the mortgage crisis, new regulations were put into place to put a stop to the practices that led to the problem in the first place. Plus, the fact that so many people are worried about foreclosure is actually a good sign. It means they’re less likely to take on risky loans they can’t afford. If you practice due diligence and buy a home within your means, you should be fine.
Myth #3: It’s cheaper to rent a home than to own one.
Sure, renting may seem like a smarter financial decision in the short-term. You don’t have to pay for repairs, you don’t have worry about property taxes, and you can move pretty much any time you want without going to the trouble of selling your home. Real estate, however, is one of the easiest ways to build wealth, as long as you make smart financial choices. Generally, home prices increase over time. This means that when you’re ready to move, you can usually sell your home and make back most of what you spent in the first place, an option a renter will never have.
Myth #4: Hiring a real estate agent is a waste of money.
Many people don’t understand the role a real estate agent plays in the home buying process, and so they assume they won’t need one. Once you get further into the process, you begin to realize how much you don’t know and how having an experienced professional on your side can help. Real estate agents play many roles during the home buying process, from helping you narrow down your choices, to negotiating on your behalf, to connecting you with trusted lenders, to guiding you through the closing process. Buying a home is a big deal, and a real estate agent is an integral part of making sure you do it right so you can enjoy the results.
Myth #5: It’s all about location, location, location.
There was a time when home buyers were encouraged to choose a home based on where it was located; for example, in well-established communities with low crime rates and good schools. Now, there are many neighborhoods that are on the rise. This means that with a little foresight, you can buy a less expensive home in a place that will get better and better over the next few years, which can raise the value of your investment. While location will always be important, it’s good to keep an open mind and consider not only where a house is now, but also what that neighborhood will look like in one, five or 10 years.
We hope that learning the truth behind these myths makes you more comfortable with the idea of buying a home. If you think you’re ready to take the plunge, contact Network Real Estate. Our agents will make sure you have all the facts you need to make the best choice for you and your family.
Neal Johnson is a CMCA, CRB, CNE and GRI-certified, licensed real estate broker at Network Real Estate, which has exclusively served a high volume of property sales and purchases in the greater Wilmington area for more than 30 years. With offices at College Road, Historic Downtown and Pleasure Island, Network’s brokers are widespread and well-versed in this marketplace, making Network a preferred real estate company for first-home buyers and beyond.
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