Are you a twenty-something trying to break out into the world on your own? School, college, technical training behind you? This is the time in your life when you want to set the world on fire and you’re chomping at the bit to get started.
Set your Goals. Whether or not you’ve found that perfect job, if you’re out there working- you need to set goals and priorities. Start with the age-old question- “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Go ahead- be as idealistic and optimistic as you want! Dream big! Let me help you- just a little. Before you leave this decade- you should own your own home!
You know what a budget is, spend less than you make! Count your savings every month as part of your living expenses. Go ahead- do it now. Set up an automatic withdrawal that is manageable from your checking account to go into your home fund.
Step up your Effort. There will never be a better time than now to go “all in” toward that dream of homeownership! Work hard, take overtime, take a second job, and save hard!! There is no better feeling than to know you are on the path to something important- and you can visualize what getting there looks like!
Slow your Expectations. As in the story The Tortoise and the Hare, slow and steady wins the race. That’s true at least as far as expectations go. In this fast paced world of immediate gratification, this one might be harder to accept, but in every case, the one who makes steady and deliberate process towards their goals will exceed the normal success rate!!
Expect to Fail. What can I say? Failure is a part of life (especially if you’re challenging yourself). Nobody gets it all right- all the time. Don’t run away at the first sign of difficulty. For every question or problem- there is a solution. You just have to have the perseverance to keep looking for answers and the courage to ask the right questions. It is in the moments of setbacks and failure that we usually find the most clarity. So don’t give up!
Find a Partner. I don’t mean get married. I mean find a person that will sit down with you and help you prepare for your goal of homeownership. A REALTOR® is the person who can find out what your big dream is and someone who understands your priorities and the vision and has the patience to help you achieve that dream. Like getting married- you might have to date around a little! Meet with several Realtors until you find someone who you have a good rapport with and whom you can be honest with about your financial situation- AND you feel will be honest with you about how best to meet your goals. Your Realtor partner needs to understand clearly what your goal is- and be committed to help you get there.
Take Baby Steps. If you dream big (and I hope you do) your Realtor may end up showing you ways that you can get there in stages- stepping up to the ultimate dream. Don’t accept no for an answer! If you can’t have what you want today- at least have a plan to get it or to move a step closer. Buying your first “starter house” is a great way of inching you closer to your next home. You learn the process of buying a home, you get to assume all the responsibilities of owning a home, you get to learn more about what you want and don’t want in your next home. It may be your practice home- but you might just love it enough to stay there forever! Either way- it’s YOURS!
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ~Lao Tzu
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and is a member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®