“Get Real” with Mildred Wong
Drama-Free Real Estate Advice
MYTH: Owning a home is more expensive than renting.
FACT: This September, the median price for a 1-bedroom rental reached $1,665 a month, making Boston the third most competitive rental market in the country, bested only by New York and San Francisco. A comparable 1-bedroom condo with fees and full amenities averaged $1,495 a month.
The important thing here is not just about the numbers working on paper, or the fact that mortgage rates are at a record low of 3.94 percent. People don’t make life decisions based on numbers alone. GET REAL! The benefits of home ownership far outweigh an apartment rental. You pay less, on average, with a mortgage payment than with rent. You get much more space with a home than with a rental, dollar for dollar. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you will not need to worry about your payments going up each year, as is common with rentals. Want hot pink walls? Go for it! You will also be able to save on your taxes by deducting real estate taxes and mortgage interest, making it truly less expensive to own a home than to rent.
So how do you know when you’re ready? One very good sign is when you can’t fit all of your shoes under your bed anymore. Another good sign is when you have moved past the roommate stage. Maybe all of your friends are buying homes and want you to buy. GET REAL! Peer pressure is probably the worst reason ever to buy a home. The fact that those around you want you to buy is completely irrelevant. If you are not motivated within yourself to own a home, then your experience of homeownership will be a burden rather than a blessing. The best time to buy is based on your life and what makes sense for you, your family, your future plans, and your finances.
Is house hunting in your near future? It could very well be if some or all of the following describe your life: you have reliable and secure income; you have good credit; you can afford at least a 5 percent down payment and related closing costs; your family, lifestyle, and housing needs are evolving; you have adequate cash reserve to withstand a job loss, long-term illness, or other financial setback; and you plan to stay in your home for at least 5 years, give or take. If you are emotionally ready, want to own a home, and are financially equipped to do so, then homeownership can be the experience of a lifetime!
How do you start? Call an agent. TRUST ME, agents will be more than happy to sit down with you and help you figure it all out. Tune in next time as we talk about how to find the right agent for you.
Mildred Wong is a Licensed Real Estate Agent with City Central Realty, LLC.
She can be reached at 617-236-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.