As an adult, you might have found yourself asking this very common question: “How successful am I in my life so far?”
There are many different ways to answer this question; each answer highly personal. Every individual has his or her own definition of success and may devise different ways of achieving it.
New Year, New Realizations
It’s January, the first month of the new year. Most of us still have the holiday hangover from all the New Year’s Eve parties we’ve attended. But now that the euphoria’s starting to subside, we’re beginning to actually realize that, indeed, it is a brand new year. 2017 just flew by. “So, what happened?”
This is a high time that we reassess our lives. How far are we from our personal goals? Have we moved closer to reaching them? How do we measure success?
What is Success to You?
To some, it meant having a stable and rewarding job, and earning good money. For others, it’s getting married, having a family and raising kids. Still, there are others who gauge success with the cars that they have, the kind of lifestyle they can afford and the number of banks accounts they own.
However, a lot of us may agree that having a house of our own is part of being successful. Homeownership usually occupies the top tiers of our life goals.
Justin was Right
In one of the parties I’ve attended during the holidays, I had a talk with Justin. He’s my 28-year-old cousin who works in a cool and hip multimedia company in New York. He’s earning good money. And as far as I know, he manages his finances well. I asked him why he was renting a studio apartment. I wondered why he never thought of buying his own house or condo.
I was expecting a reply like, “I needed to be close to my work” or something similar. Affordability wasn’t an issue, either. We both know he can afford a good property if he wishes to get one. What struck me, though, was his response, “I’m just not ready for it yet.”
That’s was when I realized that homeownership is not just about being able to afford a house. It’s more than that. It takes self-preparedness and a sense of responsibility to become a homeowner.
Purchasing a property isn’t the pinnacle of homeownership, it is just the beginning. You have to keep ownership of the home for the remainder of your years or until you choose to let go if it. And that entails smart work and sacrifice.
It’s an Asset and a Liability
If you’re purchasing a house with a mortgage, that makes the property both an asset and a liability. And even if you don’t carry a mortgage, when the home value doesn’t appreciate enough to even meet the ownership costs, it also becomes both an asset and a liability.
For someone to become a successful homeowner, he or she can’t just be financially ready. The person must also be emotionally and psychologically prepared for it.
Your relationships have to ready for this big change, too. Aside from that, you have to have adequate knowledge of what homeownership truly is. You have to understand how you, being an owner, and the house can get affected by internal and external factors that may sometimes be beyond your control. You also have to know how you can work your way through the tough times because, for sure, there will be a couple along the way.
Justin was right. He didn’t purchase a house because he believes he wasn’t ready for it. You can’t jump into it half-hearted.
So how do you prepare yourself to become a homeowner?
One is to have financial stability. You also have to have strong credit. Aside from this, you have to be ready for a long-term commitment. Paying a mortgage every month for the next 15 to 30 years needs plenty of that. Not to mention, the home maintenance you need to take care of from time to time.
How do You Know if You’re Ready?
These realizations aren’t meant to scare you away from homeownership. It is a way of preparing you for it by looking at this undertaking realistically. However, there are times that we think we aren’t ready for it but in fact, we are. Seeking out a professional’s opinion can help you assess your readiness for ownership.
A homeownership counselor or a mortgage lender is a good resource person who can take a look at your records and determine if you’re a homeowner just waiting to become one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or learn more about homeownership. Their insights may just open your eyes to the many homeownership opportunities you weren’t aware of before.
Success is relative. To some, it equals the pursuit of happiness and contentment.
A house, being a material possession, must not be the only gauge on how successful you are in life. However, if it means security to you and if it contributes to your true happiness, go for it. It’s a new year, a new beginning. Start fresh, set your goals and achieve them. Make that house a part of your list. You know in yourself that you can and you will.