Simone's Blog: Money Magnet

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

Think you want to buy a home, but not sure it’s for you?

If you make average income, have debt, and/or pay attention to economic news, it’s easy to feel like you’ll never be able to afford to purchase a home.

All is not lost though. Here’s what you need to know:

a) You can still buy, even with debt. Home lenders are recognizing the potential havoc debt (especially student loans) can have on qualifying for a decent loan, even when you can afford to pay more. Be on the lookout for loan products that will help close the debt-to-income gap so your true affordability will be accurately reflected.

b) More affordable homes are coming. While certain markets will always be ridiculously expensive, developers are working hard to create more affordable homes across the U.S. Your city could be next.

c) Ever heard of a Homeownership Advisor? They’re your new best friend in housing. HomeFree-USA is one of many such organizations nationwide. These agencies should be your first stop as we’ll let you in on things your agent or loan officer may not know about. Plus, we’re a comprehensive and personalized resource that will work with you through the entire home buying process, and at an extremely nominal cost.

d) Renting is not always bad. If you know you’ll only be living somewhere for a few years, it may make sense to rent so you can move whenever it’s time. Also, if you’re new to a city it makes sense to rent for a while until you learn the neighborhoods, etc.

If you’re still not sure homeownership is right for you (or whether you can afford it), reply to this email or call 301-891-8400 to schedule a Mortgage Jumpstart Meeting with one of our Homeownership Advisors. We’ll give you honest and straightforward feedback, no gimmicks included.

And so it is.