The Year of the First Time Home Buyer: 2013
Why is the year of the first time home buyer 2013? Many factors add up to the fact that 2013 is a great year to get out of that rental and into your first home. Or if you've been renting through this down housing market, it may be time to become a homeowner again. In fact for many mortgage loan options you're considered a first time home buyer if you haven't owned a home in 3 years.
In the next year, we're likely to see interest rates remain low while rental costs rise. It's a trend we've already seen over the last year, so that's an easy prediction. We're also seeing home prices rise, which is good news for buyers and sellers alike. As home prices rise in a steady manner rather than a huge spike - which is what causes a housing bubble - it means buyers get to see more value in their homes as buyers see the value of buying those homes as a long term investment.
Additionally, incentives like Michigan's First Time Home Buyer MSHDA Grant are often very helpful but short-lived. These valuable programs are often funded by local or state governments, with some getting funds from the feds. Whatever the case the money is usually temporary. Take advantage of this help when you can.
Buying a home (and getting your credit and your finance mortgage-ready) takes time, patience and perseverance. You can't just do it overnight. So becoming a 2013 first time home buyer would mean that you start the process now. Paying down debt, saving up a down payment and monitoring your credit report are all good steps to getting yourself ready for a mortgage. And starting them in 2012 will help make next year your year for owning a home.
But Renting is Easier
So you think renting is easier. That's okay. Maybe owning a home isn't for you, or at least not right now. But consider this: rent goes up every year while house payments stay the same. Interest paid on a mortgage loan is tax deductible. With home prices low and programs like HomePath you can find an inexpensive home for a low down payment, and own the space in which you live. A house is yours to decorate and remodel as you wish. In fact, there's a mortgage program that lets you buy a house, close on it and remodel with the money from the mortgage. It's called the FHA 203k and it's basically a way for you to buy a fixer upper and have it turned into your dream home.
While home buying isn't for everyone, it's certainly something everyone would do well to seriously consider. The long term benefits of owning far outweigh renting for a long time. If you're ready to learn more about what it takes to buy your first home, download our free guide below. And if you're already convinced and you're ready to go house hunting, consider getting mortgage pre-approval beforehand. Real estate agents and sellers love a pre-approved buyer. It makes the process much smoother for all involved.
Get ready to make 2013 the year of the first time home buyer.
(creative commons photo credit)