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I admit, I am the lucky recipient of many fortuitous circumstances that were completely out of my control. I was born in America, first and foremost, in the upper Midwest… a location that offers great educational and job opportunities, as well as a steady housing market. I was born into a middle-class family that supported me throughout my life and continues to do so. 

I also came into adulthood just before the 2008 recession hit, which made finding my first job out of college relatively easy. That timing also set my wife and I up to capitalize on all-time low interest rates when it came time to purchase our first home in 2009. We took out a first-time homebuyer mortgage loan that came with not just low interest rates, but also a low down payment requirement of just 3%.

While many of these circumstances that set me up for success were out of my control, the reason why I’m now living in what I consider my dream home at the age of 36 is a result of a decision my wife and I made that was completely within our control…

At an early age, we made the decision to meet with a bank, set a realistic budget, stop renting… and start owning. 

The national media age for first-time homebuyers is currently 34. We were in our mid-20s when we purchased our first home, and without those 10 years of equity that we built up by paying our monthly mortgage vs. writing a monthly rent check, there is no way we would have been able to afford the home we’re in today. 

Because we were no longer first-time buyers, those low down payment mortgage options were not available to us. So, the equity we had built up in our first home — the buying power we now had — is the ONLY reason we were able to put down 20% on the purchase of our new home. 

Ten years ago, we didn’t fool ourselves into thinking we could afford more house than we could. We stuck to our realistic budget, found a home that served our family really well for a decade. As a result, moving was a tough decision… but we had the ability to consider moving up only because we took the leap into home ownership about as early as we could. 

If any part of this short story feels familiar, reach out to us and we’d be more than happy to connect you with one of our preferred local lenders to start the conversation. You can request a free 30-minute home financing consultation right now. It never hurts to know your options and start making a plan for the future!