Overcoming FOBAH (Fear of Buying a House)

Buying your own home is an exciting life event. If you’ve never done it before, however, it can also be pretty intimidating. For some, taking out a mortgage can be downright terrifying. Around here, we affectionately refer to this as Fear of Buying a House, or FOBAH for short. To alleviate some of your concerns, we thought we’d go through a few of the most common obstacles new home buyers often struggle with and set the record straight once and for all.

Fear #1: I can’t afford my own home.

Many first time buyers get caught up in the thought of their bank account being drained and the idea that they’ll never be able to take another vacation, buy a new car or (gasp!) eat that infamous avocado toast everyone’s always talking about.

The reality is, depending on where you’re buying, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll drain your entire savings in the process. In fact, there are a number of loan programs that can help first time home buyers with things like down payment assistance. And if you work with an experienced mortgage lender, you’ll be able to figure out how much you can comfortably afford so you won’t be strapped for cash and you won’t have to give up all the things you love just to own your own home.

Fear #2: Ending up with buyer’s remorse.

We all go through this. It’s human nature – especially when we’re making such a big financial commitment. What if the home you think you love turns out to be something you regret a year or two down the road? What if right after you sign the paperwork you find another house that’s better? What if you don’t like living there or the neighbors turn out to be weirdoes?

The truth is, everyone struggles a little with these fears, but you can’t let them eat you alive. Keep in mind that once you settle into your new home and start making it your own, you’ll begin to really fall in love with it. And, besides, it’s not like you have to live there for eternity. Don’t let irrational fears of buyer’s remorse keep you from taking the plunge.

Fear #3: Unexpected events causing a financial hardship.

What happens if you lose your job and can’t afford the mortgage payments anymore? What if circumstances change and you suddenly have to struggle to make ends meet? Will you lose your house? Will you ever be able to buy again?

Fear of the unknown can be crippling, but try to remember that even in situations where a financial hardship does occur, there are options for getting out of it unscathed. For instance, you may be able to refinance your home at a lower rate or do a loan modification to bring your payments down. In the unlikely event of something like this occurring, just reach out to your mortgage advisor. We’re here to help.

Fear #4: Buying a money pit.

If you’ve ever watched the old Tom Hanks classic, you may be worried about the same kind of nightmare happening to you. Imagine, just settling into your new home when something goes wrong. Then something else breaks. Then another headache happens. The thought of having to continuously dish out wads of cash just to keep your home livable can be unnerving.

In reality, things are going to go wrong in your home. It’s just a fact of life. You can, however, avoid walking into a disaster waiting to happen by simply hiring a good home inspector. He or she should be able to provide a clear picture of what condition a prospective home is in currently and also give a heads up about potential problems that you might run into down the road. This will help you determine which houses are worth your time and which ones you should steer clear of.

Fear #5: Buying won’t be as safe and easy as renting.

Why rock the boat? Things are comfortable and easy when you’re renting. Why take a chance of getting stuck in one place or ending up with regrets (see above)? Isn’t it easier and safer to just keep things status quo?

Sure, renting requires less commitment. But think about all that money you’ll be dishing out, month after month, year after year. The fact that all of your hard-earned cash is literally going toward paying someone else’s mortgage and you’ll have nothing to show for it in the end is what you should really be concerned about. (Still not convinced? Check out these five reasons owning is better than renting.)

If you’re still struggling with FOBAH, don’t worry about it. We’re here to talk things through, answer your questions, discuss how much you can afford and help you make a more informed decision (even if it’s not to buy). To get started, schedule your free 15 minutes-or-less consultation today, and kick those crazy fears to the curb once and for all.

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