Worried About Whether or Not YOU Can Afford a House?
We know that being able to afford the house they want to purchase is the main concern for, like . . . 100% of our clients. So let's get that out of the way first thing: your worry, is totally normal. You aren't the only person who went into home ownership, completely lacking confident in the process or their suitability at the beginning. Nearly EVERYONE does that.
We hope it helps a little to hear that, because we've had a few clients that put off looking into the matter for literal YEARS past when they could have taken on a house. It's not like you spend those years free of housing costs, either: instead, you flush money away on rent, paying SOMEONE's mortgage. And in recent years, median home prices have climbed a lot faster than incomes have risen - meaning, that same person could have purchased a lot "more" house for their income, several years earlier. It really adds up to frustration for folks when they realize this. Except for a few short periods in housing market history, it's always going to feel like the best time to buy a house was last year. But the next best time is: right now.
It's not a great strategy to kick yourself overly much about waiting, if you feel like you might have. You can only do the best you can with the information you have at the time - and that is what Dupuis Team is all about: information for our clients. So what do you do to move past the anxiety wondering if you can afford a house or not? We have seen lots of worried clients over the years who avoid getting an answer on the question, out of a very human sense that if it's less than they hope, or even a "no" (in terms of qualifying for a mortgage) that it will feel like a pretty big rejection.
And that's fair, we understand not wanting to feel like that. But the truth is, you pay a LOT to avoid the potential of rejection. Rent goes UP and UP everywhere, including Kitsap - about $1600/month for an apartment right now. If you look at the difference between living in that 700 square foot apartment, compared to spending $1600/month on a $265K home - there's just no comparison. In addition to building equity and financial wellbeing, you also future proof your monthly budget thanks to NO MORE RENT HIKES - because that's really the fallacy of being afraid to find out if you can buy a house: protecting yourself from finding out, doesn't protect you from worry about your housing. You worry every single year when the management office is due to give you the new lease and its related increase. When you avoid looking into qualifying for a mortgage, then you are electively picking one worry over another - and at a pretty steep price. You already KNOW you can withstand the worry, because you've been putting up with those unknown rent increases for awhile. You definitely can manage the much smaller answer to the question of whether you can afford to buy a house, or not.
The win-win thing about finding out, is that 1) you may be very surprised about how much house you genuinely can afford and 2) even if you don't qualify right now, you'll know how big the gap is. With that information, you can start shoring up your situation: see what you can do to improve your debt situation, look for more lucrative work (or consider how you can qualify for a better position), etc. You'll know what the goal is, precisely - it no longer remains an unknown entity.
So, yeah - we're dancing around something we say ad nauseum around here: the first step in homeownership is seeing a lender for pre-qualifying for a mortgage. At Dupuis Team, we can suggest many local brokers whom we know to be good partners for our clients in their homeowner journey. Give us a ring, and we'll help you get started today. (And if you need a pep talk? We offer that for free!)