If you’re in your 20's or early 30's and you’re looking to purchase a new home to live in, maybe you should consider turning your first home into an investment property.
The idea of making your first home an investment goes against the general notions of personal finance. In fact it goes against how most people approach post-college life. The typical financial timeline for your average American adult might look like this:
- First Job
- First rental
- Second/third rental
- Starter Home
- Second Home
There’s nothing wrong with following that timeline, since it can give you plenty of time to build credit, save money and enjoy being young. But if you’re a 22-year-old college graduate with a solid job (good for you), waiting until you’re well into your 30s or 40s to start investing might not be wise.
Here are five reasons why you should entertain the idea of investing in real estate while you’re still young.
1. You have time + freedom on your side
Being young and independent can be pretty amazing. You can make your own rules, live where you want, buy what you want and travel whenever you want. But that can get old pretty quickly, especially if you have other goals in mind.
All the money you’re currently spending “living the life” while living in a crappy apartment could be spent on something else. Saving money and building credit aren’t impossible and they’re part of what you’ll need to qualify for a mortgage loan (more on that below). Your current lifestyle might actually allow you to cut costs in a way that might not be possible later in life when you have larger obligations.
If you can learn how to effectively manage your money, you can come up with enough cash for a down payment.
2. Real Estate Is CheaPer than it will be in your lifetime
According to recent reports from National Association of Realtors home prices are on the rise. Before buying any property, however, it’s important to make sure you purchase a house that you can afford.
3. You’ll Have Another Source of Income
If you are purchasing a property that you plan to rent out, you’ll be able to profit off your investment as soon as you find tenants. Then you can take the money you earn and reinvest it in your property or use it to pay off other bills and debts.
4. FHA Loans
Industry standards say that you’re required to put at least 20% down when buying a house. But if you can’t afford to pay that much, you might be able to purchase an investment property with much less than that by getting an FHA loan.
FHA loans give people who don’t have the greatest credit the chance to become homeowners. If you decide that investing is for you, an FHA loan could be the perfect way to finance the purchase. There is one catch, however, FHA loans require that you live in the property you seek to purchase. To get around that rule, you can purchase a property with up to four rental units and make one unit your primary residence.
Of course, you'll want a great lender on your side to explain the pros + cons of this strategy...we would be happy to make an introduction.
5. Changing Demographics
According to a report produced by the Research Institute for Housing America, homeownership among immigrants nationwide is expected to account for 36% of housing growth over the next decade. This is due in large part, according to the report, to the strong desires among immigrants to become homeowners.
See tips for becoming a Real Estate Investor on SmartAsset, where you'll also find more great content, including how to find a great Financial Advisor, how to Know You're Ready to Buy a Home, and more.
If you have questions about how to take the first step onto the property ladder by buying a home that you will eventually be able to rent out and cash flow with, start here.