The Wifey and I have begun – in a very preliminary way – the search to buy our first home.
We learned pretty quickly that wanting to remain in the city limits the options out there for those of us with modest incomes. It is even more challenging when there is only one of us bringing home a paycheck regularly (The Wifey did make a little money rocking Mary Kay a few years back. Perhaps she will guest blog again some time to tell that story. Let's just say we still have some inventory...).
Knowing that our options are limited, we were forced to get a bit creative and start asking questions that normally don't get asked living elsewhere, say in a rural or suburban area. The primary question we kept coming back to out of all of them was, "What if we bought a multi-family building to cover most or all of our mortgage with renters and just lived in one of the units?"
Financially, this is a no-brainer. From other perspectives, such as family, community, living space, etc. it's not as cut and dry. Lots of conversations need to take place and we've had to make sure that we're on the same page. Thankfully, The Wifey is very much on the same team as me. We live within our means, we give, and we save. We want to stay with our community. We are growing to love the city more and more together, which is a huge shift from when we first moved in. And, we've never lived in anything other than multi-family properties. We've never had more than three bedrooms (which may change) or one bathroom (which may never change). We don't need our dream home now.
I could go on and on, but if you're considering buying a home, might I suggest you think about all your options other than a single family or a condo or any place where you're carrying all the mortgage?
So in making this consideration, I began doing research. I researched not only the process of buying a home, but what it might look like to get into actual real estate investing. When I did that, I stumbled upon this amazing, content rich website called Bigger Pockets.
Full confession, I wish the website had a different name because it's super misleading and sounds really gimmicky at first. I actually found it through an article I referenced from Entrepreneur magazine a few blog posts back. The author works for Bigger Pockets and is a real estate investor. The advice he gave in his article was sound and the website is full of very expert, practical, and insightful tips for people all across the spectrum of real estate experience. The forums, blogs, podcasts and ebooks that are provided all for free are perfect for anyone interested in learning more.
Now you might be wondering why I'm recommending a real estate investment site if you're just looking to buy a home for yourself or your family somewhere down the road. Well, I see it like this. For most of us, the home we buy ends up being are biggest asset, meaning it may end up being the most important investment you will ever make. If that's the case, why not approach buying your home from an investor's perspective?
I've only been around the site for about three weeks and I've learned a ton about my mortgage options, how to talk to lenders, what to look for when you buy, what expenses to consider when you buy, where to buy, etc.
So if buying a home is in your future at any point, whether it be your first home or your future home, I strongly recommend checking out Bigger Pockets, diving into the forums, and learning what you can so you can be a knowledgeable buyer, making the most out of the thousands you put in.
If you do join, look me up!