The Fearless Homebuyer Blog

Welcome! Here at the Fearless Homebuyer Blog, we discuss current topics relating to financing & buying a home as well as the Lessons on Fearless Homebuyer.

Study shows #1 home buyer fear

The Home Buying Institute did this great study to see what concerns you most.  We see the same fears from the first time buyers in our classes and those we help buy homes and they are very real and valid concerns.

What can you do about these fears?  Fight them with facts!  Lets take the top three and give you some thoughts:

1.  Having a mortgage payment that is too big.  It can be scary to commit to a large monthly payment, but really, haven’t you already done that by renting?  Rent is a cost you will have forever unless you buy a home and it will only go up over time.  Average rent has increased by 5.18% per year since 1960, that means your$1200 rent today will be $1821 in 10 years- ouch!

2.  Paying more than its worth.  Another great concern!  We wrote an article on just that on our website at  Want the short version?  Do Your Homework! With your buyers agent, compare the home value to recent Sold homes to know the true value.

3.  Losing your job.  Please, do not buy a home if you think this is very likely.  But, if you feel confident that this job or another like it will be there for you for years to come, the time to buy has not been better in decades.

When the time is right for you, buying a home can be the one of the best decisions you ever make.  Give us a call or email if you’d like to talk about your plans and questions.

Dave & Ryan
Homebuying 101
[email protected]
[email protected]

Upcoming Homebuying 101 Class Dates:

Mortgage Calculator

We often get asked for a simple mortgage calculator you can use, so here you go!

Home Value: $
Loan amount: $
Interest rate: %
Loan term: years
Start date:

Property tax: %
PMI: %
Output parameters »
Free Mortgage Calculators

One warning though, you need to discuss your finances with a good loan officer and not just trust a mortgage calculator since there are many other factors that will affect your payment!

Are we heading for a housing shortage?

It sounds like a crazy thought right now doesn’t it?  With the number of foreclosures and bank owned homes, you’d think we were going to be in this situation for a long time.  But this article will give you a new perspective- one that I don’t think any news source has reported on so far.  There are two reasons for the upcoming shortage:

1. The population of the US is growing at a rate of about 1,000,000 people per year and new construction has nearly stopped in many areas.

2. The Echo Boomers are coming!  The Echo Boom generation (born from 1982 to 1995) is huge and second only in size to Baby Boomers.  These are people of home buying age now and are going to impact housing for years to come!  Full Article

First Time Home Buyer Tip #32

Crime! Everyone cares about how much crime there is in an area that you want to buy a home, but its always been difficult to find consistent sources for data on crime.  Trulia has just come out with a beta Crime Map that could very well be the solution we’ve been looking for.  In Portland, OR, where I live and work, we have which is excellent.  The Trulia Crime Map only covers major cities right now but it sounds like they’re rolling it out to other towns soon.   It has a cool ‘heat map’ that allows you to zoom into a specific area and even get the details of individual crimes including exact location, type of crime and if an arrest was made.  Check it out!  Trulia Crime Map

First Time Home Buyer Tip #31

I get asked regularly, “Should I buy a home at an Auction?”woman thinking

Those of you who have read anything I’ve ever written can guess what I’ll say!  It Depends!  Recently some great clients of mine were interested in a home that was going to be in an auction with one of the major national home auction companies.  I read through all the many many pages of “fine print” that the auction company provided and had some serious concerns.  Here is what I found:

Home Inspections: You must have (and pay for) any inspections you want to have BEFORE you put a bid on the property.  Let me repeat that, you won’t even know if you’re going to get the property, but you’re spending money and time on inspections.  You cannot have inspections after the auction.

Read More »

First Time Home Buyer Tip #30

3 Things You Need to Know About Energy Tax Creditshands pulling out pockets

I recently read an excellent article entitled  Energy Tax Credits: Beware False Promises by and it really opened my eyes to some things I didn’t know about these kinds of tax credits!  When you’re buying your first (or any) home, you’re going to be watching your dollars very carefully and you could miscalculate savings on energy projects you have planned for your new home.  For example, did you know:

1.  Energy Star Ratings are no guarantee you’ll get a credit! You need to do your own research and make sure you and your project qualifies- don’t rely on the word of contractors or store employees.  Remember, nobody cares as much about your money as you do. Read More »

First Time Home Buyer Tip #29

Top 3 Most Overlooked Things When Buying a Home

Realtor Holly Kirby of Virginia wrote a very insightful blog entitled 10 Less Obvious Things to Consider When Buying a House and it really got me thinking… what are the most overlooked things when buying a home?

Looking at her well thought out list, I’ve chosen the Top 3:

1.  Where will you be willing to sacrifice.

I LOVE this one!  We never get everything we want in a home, so in order to get what we REALLY want, we need to decide what we are willing to give up.  Want a terrific location (and you should) then you’ll need to give a bit on the size of lot or less bedrooms or baths.  Maybe even give up, gasp, a garage!  Buying a home is a process of elimination, not of selection.  Why You Must Divide Your Wants vs Needs should help you with this one. Read More »

What do single women do twice as much as men?

They Buy Homes!

Last year, 20% of homes were purchased by single women and only 12% by single men. AOL- Buying a Home: Why Single Women do it More Than Men.  We see this all the time and have our own take on it although this article is interesting.  Statistics show that, when a couple is buying a home, women have 70% of the decision (sorry guys, its true), so it follows that they are the more motivated of the sexes to buy when single.  Who knows why, maybe men are more nomadic and women want stability?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

First Time Home Buyer Tip #28

Fact:  In 2010, 1 in 4 home sales was a foreclosure.

That is an interesting fact from, but what does it mean to you?  First let me tell you that we expect that number to be very similar this year.  That large of a percentage of bank owned homes means that you will tend to see prices being attractive this year as well in most markets.  Banks tend to price their homes on the lower end of value in a neighborhood and if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops (not a horrible number of them) then you could get yourself a good deal!  For more info, checkout our post 7 Myths & Facts About Bank Owned Homes

First Time Home Buyer Tip #27

Ok, this isn’t so much a tip as it is some great facts about First Time Home Buyers from a recent survey. Its always interesting to see where you fall compared to averages.  Keep in mind that this is nationally and your area could vary:

50 The percentage of homes bought by First Timers in 2010 (up from 41% in 2008)

10 Number of years First Time Buyers plan to stay in their new home

30 Typical age of a First Time Buyer

$152,000 Median price paid by First Timers in 2010 (versus $215,000 for repeat buyers)

1540 Average square footage of First Time Buyers homes

$59,900 Average income of a First Time Home Buyer

12 Number of homes the average buyer saw over 12 weeks before buying one

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