Road to Homeownership: Realizing I Wanted To Own a Home, Someday

September 21, 2015 | By

How people shop for and purchase homes has changed a lot in the past 10 years, and even though I work in the housing industry, I didn’t know what it would take to become a homeowner. I spent more time figuring out my situation and educating myself than I did in the actual homebuying process. But I’ve learned a lot and wanted to share my journey. This is what worked for me. It is important to know your personal situation before diving in.

First things first. A year ago, I had no desire to own a home, immediately. Like many of my peers (dare I say it…Millennials), I have grown up in uncertain economic times. I do not have the same views as my parents on the urgency to own property. It was, simply put, not the top priority in my life. I do not believe that renting is a waste of money. It has certainly allowed me to live the life I wanted in Washington, DC—and quite frankly, the freedom to do what I wanted to do with my money in my 20s. Living in a city like DC means a large chunk of your income is devoted to living expenses. I can understand what owning property can represent, but I was in no rush to make that investment. I still stand by this idea, but when multiple opportunities presented themselves over the last six months, it became much more realistic that I could maintain my lifestyle and live in a place that belonged to me.

Working in the housing industry has exposed me to a lot of different avenues to owning a home. Thanks to several programs, including one at my local housing finance agency, I discovered several available options that led to buying my first condo. This program recognized there is more than one way to build a responsible financial lifestyle in today’s economic environment.

I plan to use this space to share some of the things I’ve done over the last several months to set myself up to become a homeowner. And shockingly or not, it didn’t include totally paying off my student loans to do so.

I’d love to hear from you too. What was the most important element that allowed you to buy your first home? If you are not a homeowner, what is the one thing you need to tackle before diving in? Or, if you’re a happy renter, tell me about that too.

 

Keosha Burns is a Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, for Fannie Mae. She is also a first-time homeowner living in Washington, DC. Her new series, #ReadySetHome, offers readers an in-depth look into her homebuying journey, from start to closing and beyond.

comments

COMMENTING POLICY

 

We appreciate and encourage lively discussions on our websites’ content. While we value openness and diverse points of view, all comments should be appropriate for people of all ages and backgrounds. We do not tolerate and will remove any comment that does not meet standards of decency and respect, including, but not limited to, posts that:

  • are indecent, hateful, obscene, defamatory, vulgar, threatening, libelous, profane, harassing, abusive, or otherwise inappropriate
  • contain terms that are offensive to any group based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation
  • promote or endorse a product, service, or vendor
  • are excessively repetitive, constitute “SPAM” or solicitation, or otherwise prevent a constructive dialogue for others
  • are factually erroneous or misleading
  • threaten the privacy rights of another person
  • infringe on intellectual property and proprietary rights of another, or the publication of which would violate the same
  • violate any laws or regulations

We reserve complete discretion to block or remove comments, or disable access privilege to users who do not comply with this policy. The fact that a comment is left on our website does not indicate Fannie Mae’s endorsement or support for the content of the comment.

Fannie Mae does not commit to reviewing all information and materials submitted by users of the website for consideration or publication by Fannie Mae (“User Generated Contents”). Personal information contained in User Generated Contents is subject to Fannie Mae’s Privacy Statement available here. Fannie Mae shall have otherwise no liability or obligation with respect to User Generated Contents and may freely copy, adapt, distribute, publish, or otherwise use User Generated Contents without any duty to account.

A Window Into Housing In America

Subscribe to our newsletter for each week's top stories. Enter your email address below to stay in the know.