I found the perfect home…But am I ready to purchase?

By Lynn Cattafi, in All Communities

Many homeowners who are absolutely loving their Schell Brothers home today had this exact reaction when they first found the community and floor plan of their dreams. They weren’t all quite “ready” when the opportunity presented itself. So, how did they do it? How did they overcome the obstacles to make their dream a reality?

I can speak personally to this dilemma, because I went through it when I built my own Schell Brothers Mayberry almost 3 years ago. I had many obstacles to overcome first, which felt daunting. And I’m in the business, so I know how you feel! I had a home to sell and I was concerned about taking on additional debt before selling. I had to purge boxes and boxes of things that were no longer serving me, pull together funds for a down payment, and plan for additional funds or a higher loan in case my home didn’t sell in time. However, I knew there were ways to solve each of these worries with ease, which gave me the courage to jump in – and I am SO VERY glad I did! So, allow me to help you.

The best way to begin is to list what your personal obstacles may be and look at them one by one. Then, think about which of these are temporary. What will go away once your current home is sold? Many times, all you need is a temporary fix – one that will carry you through the transition until your home is sold or your pension starts, in some cases. I have gathered a list of some of the most common obstacles that I hear from home buyers, with options to consider and help combat each.

I have a home to sell first, (or perhaps more than one). This is possibly the most common concern. While you may plan to use the new home as your primary residence, you can still aim to qualify for a vacation (second) home in case your home does not sell first. There is no difference in interest rate between a primary and secondary home. We would qualify you for the “plan B,” which is a larger mortgage temporarily, in case your home does not sell. With no prepayment penalties, we can easily modify it after closing, or you can simply pay it off.

I’m not retiring for a few years. Many people are in this position when they fall in love with their retirement home. Weigh the benefits of having a home already purchased, set up and available for your enjoyment now, giving you the ease of simply walking in the door when you do retire. The lessening of stress at the time of retirement is a huge benefit in itself. This is usually an emotional time, as it is a big life change. I often see people trying to do everything at that time: retire, find a new home, clean out the old house, and move to a new area. Pace yourself. Get your new residence ready now, and start cleaning out your current home little by little. (I promise you will thank me for this later!)

I have no liquid cash. You may be able to obtain a home equity line of credit on your current home. This is actually what I did. Then cash is available to you that does not require a monthly payment unless you use the line, and the line will be paid off upon the sale of that property. Also consider: a loan against your retirement accounts, a small liquidation for down payment, or a temporary loan from a family member.

The home I fell in love with is more than I wanted to spend. I struggled with this one myself too. I could have purchased a cheaper, already-lived-in home and would have spent a lot more money making it the way I wanted it, along with the aggravation that accompanies a remodel. Or I could have contracted with a different builder for a cheaper home; but the quality would not have been the same, and I would not be as happy as I am today. I got the home I wanted, and my monthly costs are a small fraction of what they were in my last home.

Call or email me, and let’s put your obstacles into the proper perspective. Lynn Cattafi, Waterstone Mortgage: 302.228.2627 lcattafi@waterstonemortgage.com