Real World…New Jersey

Within the past three years I’ve gone from living in a dorm on campus, writing 10 page papers and staying up until 4AM studying for final exams (thank you Starbucks), to getting up early, busily managing important projects, attending day long strategy meetings, speaking with brokers at conferences, etc. etc… Basically taking on all of […]

Within the past three years I’ve gone from living in a dorm on campus, writing 10 page papers and staying up until 4AM studying for final exams (thank you Starbucks), to getting up early, busily managing important projects, attending day long strategy meetings, speaking with brokers at conferences, etc. etc… Basically taking on all of the real world stuff that comes with being a twenty something year old building a career and a life outside of school and my parents’ home for the first time.

Call it bad luck or what have you, but I’ve entered the “workforce” during what many are calling the worst American economic downturn since the Great Depression. With that lingering over all our heads; I’ve been fairly comfortable with being a renter these past few years while working towards saving money and building a career for myself.  Fast forward to 2010 and something has occurred to me…I’ve spent thousands of dollars on rent and I have absolutely nothing to show for it.

So with this epiphany, I’ve realized a couple things:

  1. What I pay in rent is fairly comparable to what some of my friends pay in mortgage for similarly sized properties in the same area (2 miles outside of Manhattan)
  2. Paying a mortgage is like setting money aside into a savings account as opposed to giving it to a landlord (never to be seen again!)
  3. Buying a home has NEVER been more affordable (you also get more bang for your buck)
  4. Mortgage rates are at historic lows
  5. Real Estate is one of the most sound and profitable long term investments I could make
  6. There’s a first-time homebuyer tax credit!!
  7. There’s something to be said for the pride that comes with owning your own home. If purple walls express my personal style then purple walls it is and I have no one to answer to but myself (and friends who’d surely poke fun at such a choice and quickly refer me to one of those programs on TV where they fix up houses with horrible wallpaper, walls or furniture)

For the reasons above and for countless others, I’ve realized that I want to start looking for my first home to buy. I’m not afraid to admit that the home-buying process seems daunting and I’m not entirely sure where I should start first. Should I find properties myself first and then find a real estate agent? What questions should I ask? Is it advisable to reach out to the seller’s agent personally? How much of a down payment do I need? How much home can I afford?

Stay tuned and join me as I embark on this epic journey!

To be continued…

*Photo courtesy of loop_oh

Consumer Engagement Specialist in the Marketing Department of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. In his role he works on all national TV and online advertising initiatives, heads the brands’ internal video production as well as a slew of other projects. He’s held other roles within the Marketing Department ranging from Previews & Product Development to the day to day management of the coldwellbanker.com redesign. Besides being a marketer, Gustavo is a musician, writer, film & TV buff, avid sports fan, cereal aficionado, traveler, Tumblr and Tweeter.

  • http://www.DonnaPerch.net Donna Perch

    Westfield, NJ is the place to be. Email me or call me on my cell 908-468-0242 and we can talk about it.

    Good Luck with the new blog…..

    Donna Perch

  • Gordon

    Great post! I really appreciate the soundness of your logic, and the honesty of your questions. Good luck with your search –

  • Cynthia

    Really insightful! Looking forward to hearing more about your experience.

  • http://www.cbmoves.com/sharon.steele Sharon Steele

    Great post! Buying a home is a daunting idea. Like anything else, you should shop around and find an agent that suits your specific needs and one with whom you can build a relationship of trust and easy communication. There are lots of agents on FaceBook… you can learn a lot about a person's attitude and personality by looking at their FaceBook interactions. It's a great place to start! You can find my FB R.E. GROUP at http://groups.to/sharonsteelrealestate or just "Friend" me! Best of luck!

  • http://www.cbmoves.com/sharonsteele sharon steele
  • http://www.beta.coldwellbanker.com Gustavo_Gonzalez

    @Donna, @Gordon, @Cynthia, @Sharon Thank you! Should be a really interesting experience and I'm looking forward to sharing!

  • http://www.cbunited.com/gstoreholder Gina

    First I have to say….I love Blue Matters and am so greatful that I am an agent for a such a forward thinking company that embraces technology! Great post and I wish you the best of luck! You have the same questions most first time home buyers have – where do I start? ALWAYS start with finding an agent, not a seller's agent but YOUR OWN agent. Agency differs by state so I won't dive into the details as they may not be the same as they are here in NC. A good agent who is working for you will direct you in the right path and your first step should be to get pre-qualified by a lender and talk about down payment, closing costs, and how much of a house you can afford. After that you can start your home search online (your agent can setup search criteria and email you available listings or setup a personalized website for you) and eventually start looking at homes with your agent. Good luck!

  • http://coldwellbanker.com gustavo_gonzalez

    @Gina Thanks for the kind words and advice! I'm seeing more and more that consumers can't go wrong when they're empowerment via technology and the web and guided by knowledgeable agents like yourself! I'll keep you updated on my experience.

  • http://www.paydaytown.com loans

    I want to thank the blogger very much not only for this post but also for his all previous efforts. I found blog.coldwellbanker.com to be greatly interesting. I will be coming back to blog.coldwellbanker.com for more information.

  • wesellrichmond

    This post was very insightful! Now if only everyone in Richmond, Virginia was equipped with such knowledge… Even though real estate is local, I'm sure that home prices are extremly low in your area and coupled with really low mortgage rates, you almost can't lose. Looking forward to hearing what comes next. http://www.wesellrichmond.com

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