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    Teachers Should Be Homeowners

    Why I Believe This Should Be

    Buying a home is emotional. It’s expensive. Sure, it can be confusing and frustrating; however, buying a home is also exciting. It’s entertaining with many lessons to be learned. It can provide a level of financial security that renting cannot provide. If you do not or have not ever owned a home, you don’t know all the joys and benefits or the frustrations of being a homeowner. And ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the options and make the best choice for your life.

    Being a teacher is both a rewarding and frustrating endeavor. I spent 18 years as a teacher. During that time the greatest rewards that I received came in the packages of the smile of a student and her family whenever they achieved something that they may not have been sure of at the beginning. There were rewards in the camaraderie that I built with my colleagues through our shared experiences in our classrooms. The frustrations came when I was unable to reach a student in the manner that I had hoped, or whenever there were administrative priorities for the school that I disagreed with or that I believed would not ultimately improve our ability to help students and their families. However, perhaps one of the biggest frustrations was watching my friends in other professions make the kind of money where they could do what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it. I had convinced myself that to be a teacher meant to earn a living that would certainly pay the bills, but do little else. It was a false narrative.

    Teachers should be homeowners. Owning a home is the best way to build financial security. Many teachers are concerned that they don’t make enough money to be able to afford to buy a home. I understand that feeling, after all, I had those same thoughts at one time. But what happens when teachers own their homes in the neighborhoods where they work? What are the rewards for a community? For the school, it builds community. Teachers who know the neighborhood better, know the families living in that neighborhood better. Knowing the families better helps the teachers know better what the students need. Knowing what your students need and being able to provide those
    students with the appropriate support makes you a better teacher.

    Teachers should be homeowners. For principals and school administrators, having teachers that don’t have a long commute to get to work every day makes them less tired and more energetic in the classroom. Any good administrator knows that having a school full of teachers that are eager to be with their students are more effective than teachers who are too tired to be bothered. Good teachers are more likely to stay at their schools longer because they are less likely to get burned out by a commute.

    Teachers should be homeowners. Owning a home makes your year to year budget more fixed. A mortgage doesn’t vary from year to year like rent can. Rent continues to increase, but a mortgage can stay the same for the life of the loan. It’s a predictable expense every month and every year. Cell phone bills vary, utilities vary, credit card payments vary, but mortgages don’t! There is security in knowing that what you are paying for your house today is the same amount you’ll be paying for your house five years from now.

    I’ll repeat, teachers should be homeowners. Feelings of a lack of financial security is a reason some teachers leave the industry. Better pay is certainly one way to address this fear; however, I believe that the best way to address this fear is to help more teachers become homeowners. I help teachers who want to become homeowners buy their first home. I do this by addressing their concerns: A lack of money for down payment, closing costs, and/or monthly mortgage and/or a lack of time to dedicate to a home search.

    Here’s how I can help:

    I’ll identify programs designed to help you with down payment and/or closing costs. Once we find the house that you’re interested in, I’ll help develop an offer strategy that will help you get under contract and will make sure you stay within your budget. I answer all the questions about home ownership and the home buying process.

    I connect you with lenders who are able to help you understand all your financing options and help you make the best choice for your budget. Plus, once you have purchased a home, I gift you a one-year home warranty service to help you feel a little more secure with your appliances and systems (like HVAC) not covered by your home insurance. For those concerned with not having the time to put into a search, we can establish a timeline that takes into account the ebbs and flows of the school year.

    I’ll help you answer the question of when you should start your search based not only on the market, but also on your yearly schedule. Even if the time to search is several months away, there are things that you can do today so that when the time comes to start actively searching properties, you’re ready to hit the ground running. If home ownership is a goal for you or you know a teacher who wants to become a homeowner, I’d love it if you reached out to me by contacting me by email, phone or text. Everyone has different needs, and by us having a short conversation I can better help you assess what the appropriate steps are to help you own your first home.

    – Kyo Freeman, REALTOR® and former teacher.

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