Attorney Mary Paier Powers was a recent guest on Western Mass News to explain the importance of preparing for the unexpected, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Key estate planning documents she discussed include a health care proxy, last will and power of attorney. Watch here.
Few things are as exhilarating (or as scary) as homeownership. And it’s understandable why. On the one hand, owning a home gives the homeowner a retreat—a personal space to call their own. On the other hand are the expenses and responsibilities that come with owning a property. June is recognized as National Homeownership Month, and in honor of the observance, I thought what better time than to discuss the history of the holiday and some important considerations to mull before entering into homeownership to ensure you’re more exhilarated than scared when your time comes.
Not a Hallmark Holiday, but an Important One Nonetheless
If you can believe it, National Homeownership Month was first observed in the 1920s as a weeklong celebration. Started by real estate associations, it was meant to promote the concept of homeownership. During a time of economic boom, the observance was a way to reinforce the idea of property ownership as an investment.
Flash-forward 70 years to 2019 and the National Observance Month is still of importance. So much so, that President Trump offered a proclamation, stating, “Homeownership continues to be an important option for many Americans to invest in their communities, build wealth, and achieve the American Dream.”
And it is, right? So how can one achieve this dream responsibly?
Do Your Research
Is homeownership within reach? There are some great online tools to see what mortgage payment you’d be able to undertake based on your current salary and overall financial goals. This one from Bankrate is free, but there are a plethora of others available, too.
In addition to considering the total house payment, you should also research current mortgage rates. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference a few hundred dollars each month can make across the total life of a loan. Weigh the options of varying your down payment, knowing that if you do choose to offer less than 20% of the purchase price, you’ll be subjected to Private Mortgage Insurance (PMIs). Still, with refinancing options and programs like first-time buyer mortgages, the costs may offset themselves and shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrent.
Consult with a Legal Expert
Homebuyers, particularly, first-time ones, can benefit from the advice and counsel of not only a real estate agent but an attorney with a real estate specialty. Attorneys in our office have more than 65 years of combined experience with residential purchases in the area. We can help you with every aspect of a transaction from the preparation of real estate contracts through the final step, acting as a sale of agreement attorney during the closing.
Thinking about buying a home? Contact us with any questions you may have. We’re ready to help!