If you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner for the first time I don’t have to tell you all the great reasons to buy.  There are tons of great reasons and you’ve already been bombarded with them.  If you live in greater Lansing you’ve seen INNW ads all over.  Everywhere you look you’re being steered toward buying a home and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement.  Maybe you just got married and buying a house together seems like what you’re supposed to do next.  Maybe you just graduated from college and got your first “grown-up” job and you want to take another “grown-up” step.  Whatever your reason, buying your first home is an exhilarating process and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. So my advice – in the process make sure you take some time to seriously consider not buying a house.

You didn’t expect me to say that did you?  I’ll say it again.  Consider not buying a house.  I say this partly for a selfish reason.  I never want to get a call from a client who has buyer’s remorse or worse.  Seriously though, there are always times when buying a house is not the right step.

Here are five cases when I’d urge you to hold off on buying a house:

1. When your job might not be your job for much longer.

If you’re not independently wealthy you need a job to bring home the bacon.  If you can’t count on keeping your job, wait to take on a mortgage until you have a position that’s reliable.

Also, if you don’t like your job you might want to consider waiting to buy a home.  You don’t want to end up stuck in a job you hate because you can’t afford your mortgage if you quit.

2. When you have bad credit.

When you take on a mortgage, your lender charges you interest every month.  When you have a low FICO score your lender charges you a lot of interest every month.  I know what you’re thinking, “I’ll just take out the mortgage now and I’ll refinance for a better interest rate once I clean up my credit.”  Maybe you are the person who can do that, but in reality becoming a homeowner doesn’t magically make people more responsible with credit.  I think you should seriously consider taking on the responsibility of fixing your credit before you buy. (more…)


When I’m working with buyers the majority of my clients tend to be young, newlywed first-timers.  That’s probably because I’m a young newlywed and so are my friends and so are the friends they refer to me.

Lot’s of couples jump right into being first-time homebuyers as soon as the honeymoon is over.  Which house to buy is usually the first major decision of a marriage.

I’ve found in my work with newlyweds that prior to getting hitched most couples don’t talk about the specifics of their real estate needs.  Couples talk about how many kids to have and they know if their partner is a “dog person” or a “cat lover,” but they don’t know if the person they’re marrying is that rare bird who is dying to own a 1970s split-level straight out of The Brady Bunch.

If you’re looking to tie the real estate knot with your spouse, my advice to you is, “talk to each other!”  Talk about what you want and what you need in your first home together.  Decide together what the perfect home is and don’t be afraid to compromise so that you’ll be able to start your life together in a home that suits you both.  This worksheet should help you decide what’s important.  Just make sure you fill it out together.