How many Christmas and holiday songs can you name with the word “home”, the theme “home” or mentioning “home”? Quite a lot, I am sure! Many books, movies, cartoons, plays or performance arts use the idea of “home” to enhance their story line. Home doesn’t necessarily mean someplace you own, but where your loved ones or memories reside.
But for many Americans, the chapters in our lives that can be tied to “home” begins when we buy our first house, or perhaps the house where we raised our children, retire in our later years or where we grew up. It seems that each major chapter of our lives can be referenced to the particular home resided in at the time. My sister clarifies every memory by first mentioning what home we lived in at the time, just to jog our memories!
My first home purchase was in 1982. I had an excellent credit score, a good job and a 20% down payment. Due to the interest rates and mortgage market at the time, I STILL paid 13.5% interest! Today, that is unheard of. Interest rates are still extremely low, making the idea of a home purchase within the grasp of a large majority of folks. And here in northeastern Ohio, we are blessed with an affordable inventory of homes compared to many other states in the union.
But the old adage of “a handshake and a smile” is no longer an option. The transaction is much more complex than it was even a decade ago, and further regulations to make it as transparent as possible has added extra days and weeks before an actual closing takes place. Mortgage lenders are more detailed than ever on paperwork in order to comply with government regulations. Keep in mind that they will be asking you for all types of information and documentation. The information they require is asked of all purchasers and you are not being singled out. My strongest advice to anyone seeking to purchase or sell is to don’t do it alone! Find a REALTOR to help you and guide you through the speed bumps, turns and detours until you find the way to your next home.
Don’t forget the wise words of Dorothy, “There’s No Place Like Home”. Ruby slippers not required!
And remember……..ALL real estate is local! Make sure you REALTOR® is a member of the Stark County Association of REALTORS®!
As appearing in the Canton Repository on 12-23-16