Do you rent, or you plan on working towards home ownership? Why, or why not? Renters have had their ideas about home ownership challenged by the pandemic as they have had to spend more time at home working, at-home schooling, and quarantining.
In an interview with Dr. Jessica Lautz (Vice President of Demographic and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of Realtors- see link) she delves into an analysis of renting vs owning. [ https://downpaymentresource.
Dr. Lautz told us that 2021 saw a jump from 31% to 34% in first time home-buying. Families and friends started coming together and pooling resources. Feeling stability and security in where we live has never, in many of our lifetimes, been more pivotal.
After speaking to over a dozen renters, I learned they each had general discomfort related to renting. Even if they said they have ‘a great landlord’, there was the omnipresent truth that their home was not their own. Painting the bedroom or throwing a backyard barbecue required landlord approval. A friend of mine who rents- and loves a nighttime bubble bath- doesn’t take them because she said the tub “grossed her out”- since it is not her own. Some renters had the misinformation that pre approval for a mortgage was either very complicated OR required commitment- the truth is, neither. It is relatively quick and easy, can be done over the phone, and there is not a commitment. Calling a loan officer can cut out the myths and get you right to the truth.
Maya Angelou said “The ache for home lives in all of us…”. During the 2020-2021, people began to ask: Does this environment suit my needs? I want to paint my bathroom but having to ask permission to do so does not feel good”. No matter the price of your rent, the bottom line is- it is not your house; you are paying someone else’s mortgage- plus some. A lot of renters even told me they couldn’t wait to own a home because they looked forward to yard work! They wanted the sense of pride that comes with mowing their lawn and power washing their own vinyl siding.
But, what is one to do when they don’t have the means? The aforementioned Dr. Lautz says: “Buyers are pooling incomes as roommates and unmarried couples to purchase with dual incomes and overcome housing affordability challenges.”
Chaos out of disorder, and unity out of distance. Gaining emotional control over our physical surroundings, buying our first home, can help this pandemic-ravaged society put its scattered cultural and psychological pieces back together again. Lenders have responded to this by changing their standards to help people get loans in the non-QM sector (non traditional, lower credit scores, self employed, etc) I am happy to help my clients find out what is right for them, and make a basic plan for how to get there. There is nothing like helping a first time home buyer fall in love with their first house- satisfying that “ache for home that lives in us all”.