Marriage and Lending: The Final Word

One of my very favorite industry blogs, Just the Assistant, rolled out this brilliant post about the state of the mortgage industry. The thesis? Current market conditions and low interest rates present the opportunity of a lifetime for potential home buyers. And you don’t need a hubby (or wifey) to make the dream happen.

Home values are low and inventory is high. Low interest rates make it even more attractive to purchase a home. Essentially, it’s the best and worst of times. And with rent prices in Houston on the rise, more youngsters are getting in the real estate game. However, as the Assistant points out, there are few things to keep in mind:

1. These low interest rates aren’t available to just anyone. Buyers with low debt-to-income ratios and good credit ratings will get first dibs. Otherwise ads boasting historic lows are just baiting you. Don’t get sucked in.

2. Finding out how much home you can afford means more than a mortgage payment. You’ll need to factor in property taxes and insurance.

3. You need money in the bank, not just cash-flow. Zero-down mortgages are a thing of the past (for the most part). You’ll need to bring at least 5-10% of the purchase price to the table as a down payment.

4. Most of all, you don’t need a spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend to buy a house. Many first time home buyers believe they need the second income to purchase a home. Not true. It may be helpful if you have your eye on a home that is out of your price range. But when you purchase a home jointly, both of your financial histories are taken into account. If your true love has a shopping problem (it’s not just a girl thing, for the record) or has not guarded his credit score with his life, you might not be able to secure the low interest rate that makes it all possible.

If you’re not sure what any of this means, never fear. There are people who do. Like me. So if you find yourself wandering over to the real estate listings on your lunch break, give me a holler and we can sort through the craziness. If you’re looking for a husband (or wife!), well, that’s another blog.

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