Don’t Give Up Hope, Millennials!

It’s no secret that Millennials, ages 24 to 34, have been hit hard in 2020. The triple whammies of student loans, COVID-19 and record job losses are huge challenges to face. It would be easy to give up your dream of owning a home, but we say where there’s a will, there’s a way.

How you manage your expectations, resources and opportunities will make all the difference in achieving what you want out of life, including owning a home.

First, don’t give up. Your timeline may be busted for buying a home this summer, but you can still make it happen sooner than you think.

Look for ways to save money. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Make your own Starbucks coffee and take your Teva and a packed lunch to work. Take advantage of interest deferrals on your student loan. Open a high-yield savings account that pays compound interest.

Move to a less expensive apartment, get a roommate to share expenses or move back home temporarily. Pay your parents a reasonable rent for food and board and save the difference of what you’re paying now or use it to pay off debt.

Look for ways to make money. Do you have a hobby or skill that you could turn into a side hustle, like carpentry, quilting, baking or small business accounting?

Don’t worry about what others think. Instead, encourage each other. It will be worth it when you move into your own home.


Mortgage Guidance for the Self-Employed

Yes, you can get a mortgage if you’re self-employed, but it’s challenging in the age of Covid-19. Guidelines are changing monthly as the crisis continues, but the following requirements are generally true:

Work history: According to USnews.com, you’ll need a two-year employment history. Fluctuations in earnings are acceptable as long as you can show stable or increasing income. A shorter history may be okay if you’ve been employed in the same industry for a period of at least two years.

Down payments: You’ll likely need to put 20 percent down, which minimizes risk to both you and the lender, but you may be able to get away with as little as 10 percent down if you have a FICO score of 720 or above, says NJlenders.com

Cash reserves: If the worst happens and your business declines, you must show enough cash on hand to pay your mortgage regularly and on time.

Credit history: You’ll need a high credit score and an income to debt ratio of 43 percent or below, depending on guidelines. Lenders carefully check how you use revolving credit, other outstanding loans, and payment histories.   

Documentation: Supply your ID, your personal and business tax returns for two years, earnings and bank statements, business name verification plus evidence of business such as a web site, invoices, etc., license if applicable, list of debts and expenses, and payment verification for your home’s rent or mortgage.

Loan requirements are fluid, so contact your lender to learn the latest guidelines.


Who Pays for Utility Disruptions?

As a consumer of electricity, gas, sewer and water services, you have certain protections under state law. If you submit required deposits, pay your bills on time, and protect your interior and exterior equipment from overload or breakage, you should not be denied service and should rarely, if ever, experience a disruption in your utilities.

Yet, utility interruptions occur frequently. A water, gas or electric company can slow down or shut off flow to your home if there’s an outage, to protect the public safety or, to protect reserves and to keep prices competitive.

Sometimes, utility delivery equipment simply fails. Pipes burst, animals chew through lines and extreme weather can cause outages. In most cases, if the equipment is on your property, including a damaged meter, you’re as responsible to pay for repair or replacement as the companies are to monitor equipment performance before it breaks.

Extreme weather can wipe out utilities in large areas for weeks at a time before service is restored — a major reason why clean energy supporters lobby for micro-grids to limit outage areas and to encourage more subsidies for wind and solar power. Unlike fossil fuels which are switched on and off, wind and solar power can be stored in batteries for future use, which can help restore power to homes quicker.

According to Audubon.org, every state has a public utility commission that regulates your utilities and the companies that provide them. Get involved and help reduce outages the cost of utilities in your area.


Stop the Insanity!

Searching for your Virginia Forever home in todays market? Tight inventory and historically low interest rates has made searching for the perfect home extremely challenging. Your Forever Agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Realty is ready to help you with the daunting challenge of finding that perfect place.

Did you know that your Forever Agent often has knowledge of properties not yet on the market? Your agent also has industry connections they can reach out to in order to put feelers out on your behalf. Many of our sales professionals are aware of homeowners who are attempting to sell their home via non-traditional methods without utilizing the MLS at all. If all else fails, your Forever Agent will canvas your desired neighborhood in search of your Forever Home. The best part… all this work doesn’t cost you a thing. The seller typically pays for your agents hard work on your behalf!

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Search all Northern and Central Virginia homes for sale in the comfort of your home via our website, then contact one of our Forever Agents to stop the insanity and help find your Forever home.