by: Diane Vespucci ~ Re/Max Realty

Thanksgiving turkeys are being imagined as I write this, and Christmas decorations are being pulled from attics and dusted. Children are writing wish lists and the adults are thinking about what the new year might bring.

If one of the wishes on your list for next year, or even the year after, is a home of your own, now is the time to speak with a Realtor to make your first home, or even your dream home, come true.

We all ask ourselves a merry-go-round of questions preparing to buy a home: Is my credit good enough? Have I saved enough money? How much can I afford? What are my monthly payments? Only a professional can answer those questions so your first step is going to be a good mortgage broker.

This is someone you need to feel comfortable with speaking to about your finances. A good mortgage broker will answer all your questions and will let you know if you’re financially ready. The best mortgage brokers will tell you what steps you need to take to get ready if you’re not ready now.

Now, though, is as good a time as any to make the big steps towards homeownership. It is the single greatest source of wealth down the road for most people, and interest rates are the lowest they are going to be for a long time.

Interest rates, as you may have noticed, are making a slow climb back up and while that’s good for your savings account in some small measure, it’s not good for your ability to buy because it raises your costs. So, if you’re thinking of buying, now is the time; today is the day to make that first call.

So, why own a home? Besides stability, increasing personal wealth and having grass to mow, it also usually reduces your tax basis because you deduct the mortgage interest you pay (at least for now). Secondly, your mortgage payment may be less than your rent.

Yes, sometimes home prices go up and come down. 2008 to 2012 proved that, but had you bought a house then, you would have made a lot of money and had you bought a house in 2005, when prices were at their peak, chances are you’ve “made” the equity back.

There’s no predicting the future, but home prices haven’t gotten cheaper in the last 50 years.

Prices could fall for any number of reasons, but you have to live somewhere and if you can afford rent, you can afford a mortgage as long as you live within your means. There are homes for everyone, from condos, to townhomes, duplexes to single families.

As a first time home buyer, those first steps often seem overwhelming, but that’s the main reason Realtors are here – to help. So reach out to me or another Realtor, make a phone call. Your dream home by the beach may be out of Santa’s reach this year, but your first time home can be a reality. Let us show you how.