First-time buyers and sellers, and the pursuit of financial security
If you have not been on my website in a while, you might notice that it looks quite different. You’ll also notice my renewed focus on first-time buyers and sellers, and helping clients build financial security.
I had plenty of time to ruminate during our family’s two-month camping “sabbatical” last summer. The four wheels of our minivan propelled the adventure, but the four walls of our first home funded it. It’s incredible that our decisions when we were first-time buyers had such an impact on our lives.
Your see, sabbatical is a euphemism here. The two months were unpaid and I am not a professor (though I did teach an Economics course at Colorado College in 2004). It was everything you would expect from two months of car camping: adventure, challenge, and lots of fish and rivers.
To know me is to see I’m not impressed with the things money can buy. However, I am obsessed with what it can do for you.
You see, our first home provided the financial freeboard to enable us to start making some decisions independent of income. Decisions like how we spend our time, what we do for work, and how we care for our daughter.
I sincerely believe real estate can bring a measure of freedom to people’s lives, but only if approached correctly. This is precisely why I have special processes to help first-time buyers and sellers on the Front Range.
Buying and Selling Our First Home
I am an unusually finance-focused agent who often pushes clients to reconsider how much AND how they spend money, especially on their first home.
Think of it this way: if your first home’s finances took the path of a frisbee, when and where you release the frisbee has a a greater influence on where it lands than most things it encounters in flight. Small changes in where and how you begin will vastly impact the trajectory over time.
Case in point: when we bought our first home, we provided a $50,000 down payment even though we were eligible for a USDA loan with a $0.00 down payment AND a lower interest rate. (We didn’t know that USDA loans existed, and no one suggested we consider them).
To contextualize the financing goof: $50,000 was more than we made in a year and it had taken us a eight years to save that amount… What’s more, had we left that down payment invested, at this point, it could have grown to about $180,000.
Colorado’s changing housing market
Outlandish cash offers from out-of-state buyers have dwindled, and houses are no longer selling in days. Sellers are again considering offers from buyers using federal loans designed to help people buy their first home. In Colorado, in addition to special federal loans, we have state-sponsored programs to grant first-time buyers 3% in down payment assistance, a 4% second loan (that you don’t make payment on while you own the home!), and more.
Sellers need not despair: the demand remains strong, and well-priced, well-maintained, well-staged houses are still selling fairly quickly.
Housing is a human need, and financial security can bring you peace during even some of the worst personal storms. It can also bring you 2-month camping trips, if that’s your sort of thing ; )
I’m here to make sure my clients build as much security as possible.
I'm Libby Earthman. I specialize in helping first-time buyers and sellers pursue financial security on the Northern Front Range.
825 Delaware Ave, Suite 208
Longmont, CO 80501