As a new Denver Realtor helping first time home buyers, I knew they were getting more than just a secure place to live. They were getting more financial security in the long run. I just read two articles I thought every renter and first-time Denver home buyer should read. The first article Rent or Buy: Either way you are paying a mortgage and Building wealth: First ring on the Ladder is Housing.
Everyone should realize that, unless you living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage either your mortgage or you landlords. Here’s another benefit of securing a mortgage vs paying rent. As a home owner, your mortgage payment is a form of “forced savings” that allow you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord’s built up equity by, in effect, making his mortgage payments for you.
First Time Home Buyers
The Second Article is Building Wealth: First Ring on the Ladder is Housing. The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset building power of home ownership. Home equity provides Americans with the ability to send their children to college with less student loan debt and is the primary source of funds for retirement. Half of the assets of Americans over age 55 are in their homes.
The net worth of a family owning a home is 45 times greater than that of a family that rents. After all that said about renting buying or building wealth, here is an actual, very human story I received from one of my lifelong clients in her own words.
What My Realtor Means to Me
By Kathy Underhill
I wanted to take some time to express how much knowing Realtor Dennis Martin has meant to my family.
We met Dennis around 1972. He was actually a young man with a family and a career teaching school. He was also studying to become a real estate agent. He helped Frank and I as first time home buyers. We were living pay check to paycheck. We had very little savings and a new baby. He helped us buy our first home with a “sweat equity loan”. At least that’s what they called that kind of home mortgage back then. It was probably the last one given in Colorado. We were required to fix the house up so it would qualify for a loan. I do believe it cost us all of $500 to buy that first home.
About 2 years later Dennis stopped by to see how we were doing . My husband Frank told Dennis that if he could sell our house for about $14,000 more than we Paid for it, he could sell it. Dennis did that in what seemed like a just a few days? Needless to say he had to help us find a new home too. He did that just as quickly. So we found our new home and had cash to put down. It seemed like a miracle.
Well, we stayed in that home long enough to pay it off. But Dennis always kept in touch with us. My daughter got married and he helped her find a home. A few years later, she needed to sell her small home and buy a bigger place. In the meantime, the house across the street from our home had been behind on their payments and was going into foreclosure. So I called Dennis and ask him to find out the details about it.
You see, I always liked that house. In the end, we sold our home to my daughter and Dennis got the house across the street for Frank and me. So, through the years, Dennis has always been there for us when we needed him. Sometimes, it was just to call and say hi or to answer question. Sometimes, he helped us buy or to sell a home. We are just plain working people. We’ve never had a large savings account. We still live payday to payday. But with Dennis help we own our home free and clear. We do have a retirement but not in the conventional way. My husband once told me you only meet someone like Dennis Martin once or twice in a lifetime. I think he was right. Thanks Dennis for being our friend. And thanks for helping us reach a higher level of financial stability.
Still Making Lifelong Friends
This is what my career is all about. Sure, it’s been a great source of income for me and my family. But, it’s the friends I met and people I’ve helped that I remember. Real estate really does help ordinary people begin to accumulate a nest-egg. It starts as first time home buyers and ends with more wealth in retirement. I am privileged to serve in this profession.