As the holiday season approaches, the excitement grows. Shopping for gifts, planning holiday parties, enjoying the company of friends and family you only see a few times a year — for many, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
To balance out the excitement, the excess and the expenses of the holidays, it’s only right that this season also marks a time for reflection. We look back on our big wins of the past year and make plans to make the new year even better. And what better goal is there to set for yourself in the new year than moving beyond rent and investing in a home to call your own?
Why Should I Become a Homeowner?
Becoming a homeowner is not just a major social milestone, it’s a massive financial one, too. There are a wide range of benefits to homeownership, but the bottom line is that the right choice of a home can make for one of the best long-term investments.
In fact, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, U.S. homeowners, on average, saw a 6.94% per year increase on the value of real estate investments between 2012 and 2017. And while any return on investment is subject to market trends, history shows us that real estate almost always appreciates if you take a long-term view.
Nevertheless, to get the most bang for your buck, it truly is important to think long term. Buying a home does come with upfront costs you wouldn’t face with other investments, particularly closing costs. Most experts agree that you should plan to stay in your house at least five years to account for the upfront costs.
Ultimately, the benefits of being a homeowner are immediately clear when you can start building equity instead of throwing your hard-earned money away for rent each month. It’s not just a place to call your own, but a time-honored step in securing financial stability and accumulating wealth.
How Do I Set My Budget?
First and foremost, it’s essential to determine your financial health and whether you can afford this big next step. Fortunately for you, we can help make this first step smooth and simple by financing through our expert group of preferred lenders. As members of major regional and national financing networks, they can help you secure the most competitive rates available. And they can help you pre-qualify for financing so you can know your exact purchasing power before you even step inside that first home on your search.
Once you’ve made a budget, set aside funds for a down payment and received pre-approval for a mortgage, then you should begin thinking about the lifestyle you want and start exploring communities and homebuilders that have piqued your interest.
Where Should I Begin My Search?
Next, it’s time to start figuring out the location you want to call home. Home shopper interests vary across a wide range of priorities and lifestyle considerations, and it’s important to find a community that’s a right fit for your goals now and into the future. You might have a strong idea about where you want to live, but it’s always a good idea to search across the region and compare different areas for price, cost-of-living and lifestyles. So shop around — we offer an extensive range of communities and home styles in Northern Virginia and Maryland.
During this point of your search is where you’ll need to define what factors and features are most important to you. Is a specific location most important? Or do you prioritize community amenities and a strong, built-in social network? Is there a particular community feature that is an absolute must-have?
With a little research, you’ll find the perfect community is out there for you — a place that checks all the boxes and falls within your budget perimeters. And if you’ve taken the time to explore our wide selection of Brookfield Residential communities, you’ve likely already found it.
We’re Here to Help
If you have any questions or could use guidance on your journey to becoming a homeowner, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact a Brookfield Residential Sales Manager today. We’re here to help. Good luck and happy house hunting!