My wife and I just moved into our first place and are officially are holders of a mortgage!
Lesson 1: Don’t call yourself a homeowner until you have fully paid off your mortgage. Seriously, this may seem like a joke but it is not. Many people lose sight of the fact that they are living in a place that is owned by a bank. You have to fully pay that bank both the principal and the interest on your house before you can really say it is yours. But here is the great thing…
Lesson 2: You are building equity every time you pay your house payment. Every single time you pay down parts of the principal, that is money you will have returned to you when you sell the unit once again. This is the real trap of living in a rental for the early years of your life. You feel like “oh jeez, I could never afford a place like this if I bought it”. The fact of the matter is, you just need a down payment. And that takes one thing and one thing only…
Lesson 3: In order to afford a house in 4 years, you need to start saving now. My wife and I created a rule on an app called Qapital. Qapital allows you to automatically push money toward virtual savings accounts. Once we had 18,000 dollars set aside we went house hunting. Some banks will allow you to pay as little as 15% down on a house. We were able to find a great, but small condo in our price range and it suits us well.
Lesson 4: When you buy a house, it is empty. Wait what? You have to be kidding me. My wife and I ended up spending almost 7000 dollars on furnishing and finishing our house. That is important to know and budget for.
Lesson 5: There is no place like home. Knowing that we are going to be in this place for at least the next 3 – 5 years brings me so much joy. Buying is extremely worth it.
Best of luck on buying your first place!