Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolution for 2012: Resolve to Save for a First Home!

In a few days we will all be turning the calendar page and entering 2012. After the champagne corks pop and the big ball drops in Times Square, it will be time for resolutions. If you want to be a first time home buyer in 2012 maybe it is time to set a financial resolution or goal. If despite all the gloom, doom of the foreclosures during the past several years you still plan to own a homeowner one day soon, it's time to start saving! 

Those dreaming of buying a first home are in very good company. According to a article, Housing Bust? So What? We Still Want to Own, over half of Americans still want to own their own home. In fact, over a quarter of Americans indicated are even MORE likely to buy real estate since the foreclosure crisis. 

Does this surprise you? Not me. As a REALTOR® who has sold homes during this entire decade of rising and falling housing prices, one thing has remained constant: People prefer the freedom of owning their own house and piece of land. Whether it is a multi-level on a corner lot in Shoreview, a rambler on acreage in Anoka County or 50 feet of sandy lakeshore on  Forest Lake, people want to OWN! The biggest change (and reason I believe that there has been a rise in wanting to own) is simple. Owing a home is affordable again!
Home prices have started to stabilize and even inch upwards in some communities at the lower price points.  But overall housing prices in the Twin Cities remain at all time lows. This past year we saw first time buyer and starter priced homes start to sell again. Inventory is low for starter homes and demand is picking up. Though most communities are seeing significantly lower housing prices than a few years ago, prices are starting to edge up again. Record low interest rates combined with low prices meant that there was a really opportunity for the first time home buyer in 2011 and it will continue into 2012 too!

But like last year, first time homebuyers  must have a down payment. It is also important to have some cash reserved for repairs, remodeling and of course new furnishings for the new house! So what is the best way for a first time buyer to begin saving?