Buyer's Guide

Roadmap to Buying a Condo

So you think you want to buy a home, really? It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not like running down to Macy’s and buying a pair of sexy jeans, where you can actually try them on for size, check yourself out in the mirror, see how they make your hot derriere look...yeah, baby, I’m talking to you. Can you imagine people noticing you as you drift by, walking with incredible confidence, with your two-hundred dollar pair of designer jeans wrapped around your hips? You’ve got the picture. Hell yes, they are worth every penny. Swipe that credit card; I have a date tonight. Now, that was easy. Even with a bit of guilt after you get home, you are feeling good about your mighty fine.

Buying a home, now, that’s another matter. First off, you can’t put it on your credit card unless, of course, you are Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. The process takes months—for some, it takes longer than a pregnancy; for others, it takes years just to step up to the plate. The number of documents you have to provide is more than when applying for grants for college. I’m talking a boatload of forms, perhaps fifty to one hundred. Is it all worth it? Another hell yeah—that is, if you are interested in building your sense of self, building your wealth, and providing a warm, safe place for you and your family to live. That family may be your blood relatives or your personal tribe of friends who will pay homage to your new digs.

Where do you begin? You begin with the decision that it’s time for a new chapter in your life; it’s time you stop living with your parents, and it’s time to stop renting apartments. It’s time to be your own landlord for a change, one who actually cares about whether your heat functions properly, whether the paint is peeling, and who cares about who you are as a person. That landlord is you. When you own a home, you are in the driver’s seat of your future. You alone are laying the course for your future. Don’t get me wrong, many people are doing just fine, living with Mom and Dad or sharing an apartment with a roommate. If “just fine” is what you are after, keep on renting and staying with family. Think about some of your role models. Think about some of the most successful people you know—the owners of your favorite businesses, both locally and on the world stage. Do they rent or live with Mom and Dad? No, they don’t, and they have something in common with where you are at today—they all bought their first home.

Now, let’s look at an overview of the process ahead. This roadmap has many turns, some sharp, some gentler; on occasion, you may be forced back to the starting line. As long as you know your ultimate outcome, you will find your way; you will land on the bright red X called “home.” 

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