|Mastering the three Cs of
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI
There are three major benchmarks of a successfulhome buying
candidate: commitment, credit and cost. As a preliminarystep to taking the home
buying plunge, see how you fare in thesethree categories:
Commitment: In order toclear
this hurdle, you must be willing to sacrifice some of thefreedom moving can
afford, commit to spend time doing house maintenanceand repairs, and be
controlled to some degree by the needs ofthe home (i.e. lawn watering, snow
removal, etc.) It's very muchlike nurturing a child (albeit it one that doesn't
talk back norrequire college a college education!)
And there may be unhappy times. Like when an
obnoxiousneighbor makes you wish you could mail the keys to the landlordand move
on--but you can't, you're committed.
Why should you be concerned about home ownershipcommitment?
Because if you live in the home you select for theaverage time period of seven
years, you will have spent more than2,500 days in it! That's a considerable
investment in time, effortand money.
Credit: While we'll
discussthe finite points of credit in later, it's not too early to facethe fact
that most home buyers have to use credit to swing a purchasethis large. That
means that you'll take on the obligation to checkyour existing credit picture,
or establish one (if you haven'tdone so already), and be willing to manage your
credit once thepurchase is complete.
The mortgage lender will not be as sympathetic asthe
landlord about why the payment is late. And even if you doget by with a late
house payment here and there, they can mountup to major roadblocks when you want
to sell and purchase again.A lack of responsibility in managing your mortgage
and your financesafter you purchase a home can result in lost equity,
Cost: You may not havea
problem shelling out thousands of dollars of your hard-earnedsavings for a down
payment. And it may not even bother you topay hundreds of dollars in closing
costs. But, unfortunately,those upfront costs of purchase are just the
You no longer have a landlord to call when the waterheater
isn't working. You'll be alone in the dead of night whenthe furnace gives up the
ghost. And you won't see anyone comingto your rescue with their checkbook when
the plumber says "ittook a few hours more time than I thought to repair
By rating high in home buyer commitment, credit andcost
categories, you're ready to be a well-qualified and successfulhome buyer!