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Why do YOU want to buy a house anyway? 

Guess how many jobs were added in February?  The BLS jobs report came out this morning showing 275k homes added.  Guess how many were subtracted from January’s number?  They revised that number down by almost 50k.  Does anyone else feel like this is a sick game where the jobs report blows out the market with some wild number that gets revised down significantly the next month? 


The impact on the market wasn’t huge and interest rates are slowly backing off 7 percent after some decent data and friendly Fed commentary the past few days.  I’ve noticed that buyers are much less rate focused though.  Probably because they simply became exhausted with the ups and downs.  Honestly, I think people just need a minute.  Here is the question I think we all need to be asking, whether it’s one you are posing to yourself or one you are directing towards a client: 


Why is buying a home a goal for you? Why do you want to do this? 


I had a really interesting conversation with a client who was generally discouraged by monthly payments and home prices.  He’s caught in a rent cycle.  You like your rent payment and even if you could afford more, the rest of your expenses just expand to eat up more of your disposable income.  Consider this – usually when you make more money, you don’t save more money.  The cost of your lifestyle somehow increases.  This is the rent cycle that traps you because you don’t save the extra money you’re keeping from paying a lesser rent so you not only never have a down payment, you also aren’t building wealth with a forced savings account. 


I’m not rent shaming anyone right now. 


The truth is priorities have shifted at the same time that economic challenges have multiplied. I’ve seen first hand that the borrowers who attempt to get prequalified are dealing with stagnant wages, student loan debt and the never ending occurrence of black swan events that disrupt our entire economy every few years.  Also, people want different things from life than they did when homeownership became the American Dream.  You guys that was the 18th century when Thomas Jefferson supported policies to encourage land ownership for citizens.  We’ve come along way since then.  I know for sure that younger generations are no longer defining success by homeownership, they are way more focused on personal fulfillment. 


Do you only want to buy a home because you think you are supposed to? 

Have you been rent shamed?  Or do you have a reason that this is important to you.  After a few minutes of considering, my client said he wants to buy a house with some land to settle into for the long run, to make his own over time and to not feel like anyone could ever take it away from him.  Ok now we are on to something. 

If I know why you want to buy a home, I can tailor a much more specific financing strategy and I can also give you an HONEST answer about if now is the right time for you personally to buy.   

 

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