For me, there has been nothing about the home buying process that hasn't been riddled with anxiety (with exception to shopping for furniture). Because of my career in the financial services industry, I have spent four years witnessing the many hardships of homeownership. I have managed the media activities for nearly one hundred foreclosure prevention events. I have had strangers cry on my shoulder about the fear of losing their home. I manage daily phone calls from homeowners, real estate agents, protestors and reporters, discussing homeownership horror stories with them all.
“You know too much,” my mother has told me on several occasions.
Of course she believed that I should seek out as much education as possible, but I knew far too many “worst-case scenarios.” I had to learn to take what I knew as a cautionary tale, while not allowing it to paralyze me.
When looking at my specific situation, I had to get back to the basics. I analyzed my current salary, my budget, the specific market I was purchasing in, my career plan and my lifestyle. Those allowed me to see what I was really dealing with.
The fact that my homeownership journey has lasted a solid ten months only created more anxiety. Time was becoming both my blessing and my curse.
In a normal situation, you find the place, you must move quickly to put in an offer and things could take off immediately. You could own a home in a matter of weeks. I am not sure I could have handled that either.
The long process of waiting for my condo to be built has given me the opportunity to run through all of my decisions (some of them three or four times over) and become comfortable with them. As it turns out, I am now more confident in my decisions than ever before.
Thinking back on the same foreclosure prevention events where I saw so many people struggling with their own worst-case scenarios, I also saw many families who felt empowered and proud of their homes. They were celebrating the assistance they received from Fannie Mae to continue on their homeownership journey.
It is true, we could all find ourselves in a vulnerable position with a worst-case scenario. But with proper planning and (most importantly) saving, we can also be confident that we can rebound. Life happens, but that doesn’t mean you stay on the sidelines.