The inspiration to write this blog was sparked from a conversation I had with my 21 year old son, when he expressed his feelings about buying a home. It was apparent that home ownership was triggering a lot of fear in him. Troubling thoughts like, ‘how will I be able to make my mortgage payments’, or, ‘what happens if the interests rates go up?’ He was also questioning whether he even had the ability to maintain a home. Stepping into the decision of buying a home was clearly raising uncertainty and self-doubt as to whether he could take on the responsibility of being a homeowner, both financially and emotionally.
My son’s feelings were very real, which I’ve come to realize are very common feelings among new home owners. As a mortgage agent for 10 years, I see these same fearful feelings not only with first time home buyers, but with repeat buyers as well. This conversation with my son made me aware that unfortunately, many homeowners develop these types of feelings prior to buying their first home, which persists throughout their home ownership journey.
How can I help people shift out of thoughts of fear to thoughts of FREEDOM when purchasing a home? Please read on…
Let me take you back to when I purchased my first home. I was at the tender age of 19…even younger than my son. I had financial support from my parents as well as professional guidance from a real estate agent. I remember the day clearly as if it were yesterday – I was excited, because buying a home meant I was a responsible grown-up, and I was looking forward to being independent and able to decorate my home to reflect my own style. Contrary to my son, I was looking forward to having mortgage debt. To me, it meant I was going to financially improve my situation, and as time went on I would have a measurable asset of my own. I viewed home ownership as an automatic investment in myself. The mortgage rates at that time were at 8.75 for a fixed term – which is significantly higher compared to today’s rates. However, this rate did not deter or scare me.
In my career, I find clients tend to fixate on the interest rates. It is commonly believed that the lowest rate is going to save the clients money and help them pay down their mortgage more efficiently. The truth is, a few months after their mortgage is finalized, if I ask what their interest rate is most don’t even remember! Now, I am not discounting the importance of a good interest rate; however, we have no control over that number. Back when I was purchasing my home, I chose to focus my energy on the good feelings of becoming a home owner and what I could accomplish by that commitment, instead of the focusing on that which I had no control over – pretty smart of my young self!
Being a home owner encouraged me to grow and gain independence. It built my confidence by investing in my future and reaping the freedom of financial independence. Home ownership even allowed me the opportunity for self-expression and creativity by learning about home renovations and maintenance.
So what was the difference between my 19 year old self and my 21 year old son?
My 21 year old son
• Vision of buying a home meant a large repayment of debt, a continuous burden, and a constant reminder of that large amount of debt, which caused feelings of anxiety and stress.
• Upkeep of a home meant unforeseen expenses, which can take up time and added to his perceived financial burden.
My 19 year old self
• Visualized the end result of owning a home and the repayment of debt as an investment in myself, which accomplishes financial security and personal independence.
• Upkeep of a home meant an opportunity to grow looking beyond the financial aspect, to live in a place where I can be myself – a place of love and comfort. This resulted in positive feelings of relief and freedom.
In summary, it’s a matter of perception. What do you choose to focus on? You can either look at home ownership through the lens of it being empowering or disempowering. One will bring you feelings of fear, the other feelings of freedom. Which do you choose?
For a complimentary review of how I can help you with becoming a homeowner or managing your current mortgage, please reach out to me to book your one on one consultation. Buying a home can be an emotional experience. Let me help you move through this experience with ease.