Why Buying Your Dream Home TOO SOON Could Become a Nightmare!
Our culture today is very centered around the idea of “instant gratification.”
And why not, right? I mean just look what we have access to these days…
Need a last second birthday gift? No problem, there’s same-day package delivery. Surprised by an unexpected visit from relatives? Don’t sweat it, there’s curbside grocery pickup. Excited to see a new movie that just premiered but not quite ready to visit a public theatre? Get your popcorn ready, and order it on a streaming service!
Now, even though we have grown accustomed to the convenience of obtaining what we want or need in a pinch, there are scenarios where time and patience are the proven best ways to ensure happiness with long-term results.
But nowhere does the effect of instant gratification result in a longer and far reaching sense of buyer’s remorse than a home loan that is too large.
“Too large” can be different for a variety of people, but let’s look at some of what you should think about as you decide on the kind of home and, therefore, loan you’re willing to take on for the next 20 or 30-years.
Divide & conquer!
One very important and undervalued idea is to have money left over at the end of each month once bills have been paid, necessities purchased, and even a little fun is had.
If the loan you are considering will more than likely max you out each month, I would say that it is too high.
When in doubt, stick to the rule of thirds.
- 1/3 of your monthly income is dedicated to your home loan payment
- 1/3 of your monthly income is dedicated to cost of living
- 1/3 of your monthly income is tucked away in savings
“But,” you might say, “I’ll be getting a raise soon.”
Just be sure to avoid biting off more than you can chew. Life happens, taxes increase, and unexpected expenses occur. So, it’s important to stay well within your means to make sure you’re not struggling to get by after something unexpected comes up.
Starter Home: “You don’t always have to go BIG to go home!”
As children, we imagine ourselves as adults and what we may have obtained by that point in our lives.
We dream of what our career field might be, how many kids we would have, where we would live, and how big and amazing our house would be!
Personally, I thought I’d be a Veterinarian living in a yacht with my husband, our 3 kids and our 3 dogs.
My my my, was I wrong! But it’s okay to dream big – so long as you know that everything you hope for won’t always come right away.
Buying a home that isn’t necessarily your dream home to get you and your family started is one of the most realistic and financially secure choices you can make.
Remember, it’s a starting point, and even Jeff Bezos started somewhere. In fact, he started his empire from his garage!
The point is, a starter home is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. It’s simply a home that is more than affordable in your current circumstances and can be a huge advantage in getting you into that dream home, with its number one advantage being that it is an investment!
Unlike with renting, which is money you will likely never see again, buying a starter home is money that you should see again by building equity through appreciation over 5-10 years.
No shame in your financial gain!
We get it, life shouldn’t always be restricted to paying bills and going to work to get paid in order to pay more bills. However, consistency and financial discipline overtime will benefit you long term.
The point of this article is to help our readers avoid getting themselves in a financial bind right off the bat. Because taking on the responsibility of an expensive loan can cause a lot of stress and frustration.
It can be overwhelming when you allocate the majority of your funds for the place you live and have nothing left for weekend getaways, restaurant splurges, or maybe even just the money required for regular home maintenance.
Sure, your house is nice, but what about your life?
Easing into home ownership with starting small and upgrading as money allows may not be the most romantic thought, but the logic of it can’t be denied.
Wants vs. Needs
After buying a big, beautiful, expensive home, you might realize you actually didn’t need all that space in the kitchen and would’ve preferred another family room. Or, maybe you discover you do use the kitchen and want to prioritize that space in your next home.
Another huge benefit of starting off small is finding out what kind of proximity is important to you.
Do you actually like living in the country? Do you miss living closer to family? What about the commute to work or school? And how important are the community amenities such as the grocery store, park, coffee shop, hardware store, etc. to your life?
Making a smaller investment with a lower risk commitment for your first go around means discovering what matters most both in and around your house.
Just like baking cookies, you can always add to the recipe, but once the ingredients are mixed into the bowl, it’s too late to take them out.
The Bottom Line
If you want to buy the biggest and best house you can get and can afford it, by all means, do it. We understand that everyone’s circumstances are unique.
But with a passion for affordable housing top of mind, we always recommend that our first time buyers make sure the house they choose will make up for the other things you might have to give up once you have it.
We want this financial decision to be a pleasant experience overall, so before you dive into unknown waters head first, just remember to weigh your options and stay well within your means.
So that’s it: Why Buying Your Dream Home TOO SOON Could Become a Nightmare! This article has been updated to reflect change over time. Follow the links in this page! We would love to answer any of your questions on our Facebook Page or through our Contact Form.