Five Ways to Stop Worrying about Homeownership

Owning a home is one of the stepping-stones towards long-lasting prosperity. For many families, it represents the culmination of years of hard work and perhaps the largest investment they will make. Yet after the mid-2000’s market crash, many do not see homeownership as a safe investment it once was.  Many have become wary of the expenses, responsibilities and risks owing a home can bring.  Nonetheless, there are many reasons why owning a home be a matter of great distress.

Modular homes can be a solution for finding the perfect home.

For many new homeowners not finding the right home can be quite worrisome. There plenty of aspects to take into consideration such as location, affordability and size. High prices and low stock have made locating the perfect home particularly difficult, especially in overheated markets such as San Jose, CA. Yet despite the difficulties, Reuters reported in April that home sales have increased across the US. [1]

For those looking for affordable options prefabricated homes can be a great solution.  Companies such as Factory OS located in Vallejo, CA or Turkel Design[2] in Boston, MA offer stylish modular homes at lower prices in much shorter time than a newly built property.[3]  These new type of property can be tailored to specific needs and are ideal for new homeowners.

Failing to pay the mortgage does not automatically leads to foreclosures.

Perhaps the biggest concern for homeowners is not being able to meet mortgage payments, especially if there is a financial strain in the family. However, some measures can be taken into account to prevent missed payments.

The best solution is to save aside some money to cover one or two payments while the situation causing financial strain resolves. Having health insurance coverage is also particularly helpful as it can cover any unexpected medical bills[4] that can take up a large amount of the homeowner’s income.

Furthermore, if payment is not made on time, there will be no immediate risk of foreclosure. As Realtors® explained, ever since the 2008 crisis banks are wary of taking properties straightaway as it may represent a financial loss[5]. Generally, it will take 90 days of missed payments before defaulting on a loan. Likewise, there is usually a grace period of 7 to 14 days to meet any payments and avoid any late fees.

Avoid being “house poor”.

Another great cause of anxiety is in being short in cash after purchasing a home. There many who find themselves in situation Investopedia calls “house poor” [6], which means that they are able to afford the mortgage, but cannot cover other expenses.

While there can be many unexpected payments when purchasing home, homeowners should beware of not paying above 30% of their income. If this becomes impossible, there are several solutions.

One option is to try to reduce non-essential expenses costs such a cable subscriptions or night outings.  Homeowners should avoid taking lavish vacations or they can trade cars for ones with lower payments. If everything fails downsizing should not be completely discarded.  Selling the property and finding a cheaper mortgage can help bring in much needed cash and allow improve financial situation.

Protect the property from natural disasters.

2017 proved to be a difficult year for many homeowners who lost their homes due to natural disasters.  An unusually high hurricane season caused billions of dollars in damage as territories such as Huston and Puerto Rico were struck by hurricanes Harvey and Irma respectively[7], while California experienced the costliest wildfires in record[8].

Although natural disasters are unpredictable, there are several ways to decrease the likelihood of losing property. Aside from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, scientist have become more precise in their predictions. They are able to track hurricanes and predict their landfalls, as well as, predict the wind patterns that spread wildfires. This is why it becomes of paramount importance to follow their indications and safeguard real estate.

Moreover, if the homeowner lives in a high-risk area, getting proper home insurance is essential. Although it might seem as an extra expense, should anything happen, the homeowner might be able to recover from the loss and start anew.

Safeguard property value.

During the heyday of the crisis, millions of Americans saw their homes drop their value to the point of being worth less than the mortgage. However, with the current real estate climate and new regulations another major crisis is not at verge of happening. In fact, home shortages and lack of affordability means that those who were able to overcome the crisis have seen their homes appraise in value.[9]

While currently homes and real estate property is rising in value in most markets, it is always important to improve the equity of the property. Renovations and extra features can always jack up the price and protect investments.

While the real estate market can seem grim and with lack opportunities, the fact is that there are reasons to worry less and think more about a better future. By following some of the recommendations made in this article, homeowners might stop worrying for the homeownership and begin to think about increasing their portfolio.