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The Lesson of Megan

This upcoming weekend, my daughter Megan, the eldest of our four children is graduating from Binghamton University. When these type of life events happen, I like to reflect upon both “How did we get here?” and “What are the best actions I can take to make sure things stay on the right path?” As I thought about it, parallels to people thinking about buying a home popped into my head.

The “How did we get here?” question had me pondering the time before Megan was conceived. There were plenty of reasons NOT to pull the trigger- with economic uncertainty being the leading concern. How would we pay for the increased expenses with less of an income? How would our personal time be compromised? Shouldn’t we wait until we had more in our savings account? If we applied conventional wisdom to our situation, we would have waited; but by not waiting, the benefits we gained were far greater than we ever imagined. Being a parent (especially of a kid like Megan) is the greatest gift anyone can have…and cheating ourselves of that, for even a day, would have been a tragedy. Sure, we sacrificed some vacations or nights out, but the joy of beginning our family (which later added three sons to the mix) gave us such an upgraded life. I can hardly remember the drawbacks and can only celebrate the great memories of laughter, song, and hugs.

So, my advice to people looking to take somewhat of a leap of faith into homeownership (or moving up) is that if you wait for everything to be perfect, you will cheat yourself of the memories you could be starting today. Seriously, what a terrific opportunity to start the new chapter of your future:

  • Incredible Inventory – The amount of available homes to choose from is staggering, but waiting for the “perfect” house is costing you time….the time you will enjoy your home.
  • Amazing Prices – In some parts of the country, prices are back to 2005 levels, some 2003, and some even 2001. What else can you buy for the same price as 7-11 years ago?  Maybe some personal electronic equipment that is outdated today.
  • Awesome Interest Rates – Rates are back to all time lows. What are you waiting for?

Now, I’ll move to the “What are the best actions I can take to make sure things stay on the right path?” question. Megan wants to be a teacher. She will be a great teacher, but jobs on Long Island are tough to find with all the budget cuts and such. So, Megan has decided to continue her education and get her Masters, while working at our office, as she waits for improvements in the job market. She is positioning herself to be better prepared for her future opportunities. Good decision.

As I talk to prospective homebuyers, it’s about being pre-approved.  Having a seasoned mortgage professional review their income, assets and credit to help position them in the best light, so that when they find that special opportunity, they are poised to act on it.

Buying a home, many times, begins with the emotional decision to change one’s life. After deciding to take the plunge, we use numbers and logic (inventory, affordability, and interest rates) to justify the emotion. Add to that, taking the care to prepare by working for a solid pre-approval, and I want to tell everyone…. “Go make your Megan!”

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