Many people think they can’t buy a home because they don’t make enough money. I honestly believe you can accomplish almost anything you put your mind to with hard work, sacrifice and some thorough research on your options. I am a fan of real estate as a tool to building wealth because it is tried and true…tested for centuries and when executed correctly (which isn’t that hard), it can really propel your financial trajectory.
Let’s say you are looking for your first home purchase…. what are some sacrifices you are willing to make to get into the game? I’ll tell you what I would do in this aggressive Boston market, especially if I HAD TO stay in Boston.
- I would research the most inexpensive yet safe and inviting neighborhoods in the city…. currently, Mattapan is wide open but picking up steam, some parts of Dorchester, and Hyde Park, however, the prices in these areas are constantly being pushed to a new limit.
- See you qualify for any city programs. There are numerous options available to first time homebuyers through the city. Although you may have money saved for a down payment, if there is free money available… utilize it.
- I would research streets within these neighborhoods to identify where I could see myself living for 3-5 years. Select multi-family homes in decent condition. Depending on the time of year and your pre-approval amount, the property condition could be a little worse and you can utilize a rehab loan.
- Screen ALL tenants to ensure they are most likely to pay rent on time monthly. If the place comes with tenants, when do their leases expire? What is their payment history? Are they paying market rent? (sidetone: I am for giving a discount to great tenants but still keep within reach of market rents; not more than $200 discount. If you are providing a larger discount, this WILL hurt your resale value.)
- Occupy one unit for 3-5 years which will allow the market to possibly rise and therefore increase your equity; you can start saving again for the downpayment to your second property (now at 20-25% down)
- Be smart…run this like a business. Set aside 3-5% of rent toward long term maintenance and repairs (water heater, furnace, plumbing, roof). Budget for incidentals, things break down in every home over time. The income generated from your 1st property will be utilized to calculate your pre-approval amount for your second property.
- Depending on which home you like more, decide which you will live in and which will be 100% investment property.
- Rinse, and reuse. The key is knowing the numbers of how much to spend. Our agents are trained to evaluate the numbers to ensure you buy at the right price point for your goals.
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Below is a story of a gentleman who followed the steps above and owns 9 properties while working full time.