How To Buy Your First Home: Even If You Can’t Afford It…. YET

Lets be honest.  Housing is expensive if you live in Gilbert or the surrounding areas.  Home prices have soared over the last decade, is seems as though the only things that have gone up faster are rental prices.  This is especially hard on the younger generation that is just beginning to start off in the workforce.  Finding cheap rent or a reasonable priced home to purchase may seem nearly impossible.  Here at The Reeves Team we are here to help those aspiring youths achieve their dream.  While the youth of today may not have much in the way of savings or income, they do have something many older Americans do now.  Flexibility!

So lets take a look at some house hacks that The Reeves Team can help employ to get you that first house, even if your income isn’t quite where it needs to be for a more traditional purchase.

Be the owner AND the landlord

You may not have the income to pay a mortgage each month, but you know who does?  Your future roommates!  This strategy is effective and simple, but it will take some compromises.  While we realize not everyone that purchases a house has a desire to have roommates, if you can tolerate it and find the right ones, they can significantly lower you living expenses.  There are other options as well, if you would prefer not to have long term roommates you can always offer up your home on airBnB.  This will give you additional flexibility to block out days where you might not want guests, and can even net you more money in some cases than roommates.  The downsides are that the income is not as dependable and you will need to clean and maintain the space after each guests visit.

What to look for in a home

Purchasing a home with the express intent of renting out additional rooms does make purchasing a home more of a bushiness decision than a personal taste preference.  You might need to forgo the huge Master, with massive attached bathroom for a home with larger guest bedrooms, or even better, more guest bedrooms!  Having a split floor plan can also be nice to give you and your future tenants extra space so you are not on top of one another.

Where to buy

Stop me if you have heard this one before.  Location, Location, Location.  When people look for a new rental they want two things.  They want to spend as little as they can, and they want to be as close to work as they can be.  You are already ahead on the money portion, because you will be able to beat traditional apartment complexes by a significant amount renting out spare bedrooms.  The important part is that you find a central location close to many businesses.  If you can get the price right and the location, you will have no problem finding potential tenants.

Why doesn’t everyone do this?

Great question.  In fact almost nobody does this.  Especially later in life.  In the last decade the number of married couples with roommates has doubled, and while that may seem like it is growing rapidly, you better here the actual stats first.  The numbers did double, but they doubled from 22 in 10,000 to 44 in 10,000.  Those numbers might as well be 0.  A common reason adults do not have roommates is the same reason they don’t drive around older vehicles.  While it might make sense, the social stigma that goes along with it just isn’t worth it to most.  Youth don’t have this stigma to worry about and are typically expected to have roommates while getting on their feet.

At The Reeves Team, we don’t care if your young or old, we think you should do whatever makes sense for you.  We hope these tips help you purchase your first home sooner than you might have otherwise.  Let us know if you have ever rented out an extra room or used airBnB for your extra space in the comment section below.

How Much Down Payment Do You Really Need To Purchase A Home

There are some very significant benefits to owning your home instead of renting.  If you own your home, when your homes value appreciates your net worth goes up instead of your landlords.  Another benefit to owning is you can count on your mortgage payment not doing up drastically as rents rise and inflation continues.  One of the most daunting aspects for most prospective home buyers is saving up for the down-payment.   With traditional homes in Gilbert going for an average of over 300 thousand dollars a 20% down payment is over 60,000.  What not everyone knows is that there are other financing options that allow for a lower down-payment than the traditional 20%.  Here at The Reeves Team we are here to give you your options.

What is the least I can put down to purchase a new home?

You can purchase a home for as low as 3% down.  If we take that 300 thousand dollar home and do the math again that is only 9,000 instead of the traditional 60,000.  To first time home buyers 3% is much more attainable than 20%.  The FHA or Federal Housing Administration helps home buyers get approved and they are even willing to guarantee a portion of the balance to the lender.  FHA loans can be as low as 3.5% and have some of the lowest rates available to potential homeowners.  You can still find some lenders willing to do zero percent loans but those are hard to come by and you need to make sure you are looking over the details very carefully and are comfortable with the loan documents.  Active and retired service members, and residents in rural areas also have access to zero percent down loans through the department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

What are the downsides to not putting the traditional 20% down?

If you put less than 20% down when you are purchasing a home the government will back a portion of that loan so they lender will be willing to loan you the money.  Unfortunately that government backed portion isn’t free and it is known as mortgage insurance.  There is typically an upfront fee and a monthly payment that will be added on to the mortgage.  On the bright side is if your home appreciates in value and goes above the 20% down-payment threshold you can refinance to remove mortgage insurance.  Some loans also may allow for the removal of mortgage insurance without refinancing once the property value is high enough. Check with your lender to see if this is an option for your loan.

So what do you think? Is it best to save up the 20% before purchasing a home?  Or should you get into a home as soon as you can to start building equity?  Let us know in the comments below.