Viewpoint: Home Buying as an Investment in Your Future

The best way to plan for your future and retirement is to do it now. It is never too soon to plan for the future; except when you get there and there’s been no plan. Sources say social security will be depleted by the year 2035. Think of retirement as a health plan for your future. Just like your health, you can’t start taking care of yourself at the age of 70. While it is never too late to start, the dividends are higher the younger you start. 

Guest post by Shelly Henderson, co-owner of Henderson Properties

COVID has taken “work from home” to a new meaning. Perhaps the once popular apartments and roommates will have less appeal as folks look for more room and privacy. How awesome it would be to be able to provide someone with that new space. That someone might be you. The only wrong time to purchase real estate is if you have to sell in a down market. Good news! The market is up, rates are low and the stock market is up and down. Perfect time to look at other options for investing. Real estate should be a top choice.  

I started my real estate venture when as a 26 year old single person I became a first time home buyer. I was a teacher with a salary just shy of $20k. With $2200 down I purchased a home for $55,000. Today that home is paid off and is a rental property that rents for $1195 a month. Currently this house would sell for $170,00 with multiple offers. That is a pretty good rate of return on that investment! Today, with my husband, we own and manage over 30 units of real estate and have even turned that real estate hobby into a full time career with Henderson Properties. 

I am now walking with my son in his first time homebuying journey. He recently turned 25 and while nervous, will in a few short weeks sign his life away for the “American Dream” and becoming a homeowner. But in his mother’s opinion it is the first step to building wealth. When he is 50 that house will be paid for. The best part is that his mortgage will be less than the rent he has been paying. Side note to parents: while a great GPA is key to getting into college, it isn’t the golden key to becoming successful. Work ethic and knowing the value of a dollar are the true keys to success. If you have older kids at home learning virtually I have a great economic lesson for them this fall ~ a family project buying an investment property. 

The top three reasons I have heard why people don’t invest in real estate or buy a home are time, money and commitment. Being a homeowner or a landlord is certainly not for everyone. However, diversifying your investments is highly encouraged. The rate of return in real estate is much more stable than the stock market. But on the flip side, both are long term commitments. Hence, why you should start planning as young as you can. 

I want to also encourage you women, whether single or married, to go for it. I rely on my husband to know a lot about our finances, however, knowledge is power and with some time and a real estate team you can trust, whether you are single or want to help your family invest in their financial future, the time is perfect for taking that first step. Don’t wait for the perfect time or wait until you have “enough money” because you won’t ever have enough and something will always get in the way. 

Right now the market is HOT! The supply is low and demand is high especially in the 350k or less range.

Here is how I suggest you “start from scratch” to buy your first home, to buy an investment property, or that 2nd home you have been dreaming about:

  1. Find a Realtor and educate yourself on the market, areas that have growth potential and re sale value. 
  2. Don’t buy the biggest house in the neighborhood. Keep options open to beyond Charlotte. Gastonia, Belmont and Statesville are areas to watch 
  3. Be patient but act swiftly when there is an opportunity. The good deals won’t last
  4. Worried about repairs and or fixing it up? Find a good team of vendors or a property management company to partner with in the event you decide to rent it out. 
  5. Get pre qualified for a mortgage so you have the advantage of closing quicker and knowing ahead of time what your price range is. In a hot market like we are in, time is of the essence.

What is keeping you from making the decision? Worse case you re sell it in a few years and break even. Because of the real estate industry and our diversification, Henderson Properties has withstood the test of time and more than one economic crisis. As apartment complexes are on the rise, this time last year were averaging 95% capacity, making it a challenge to find one. Currently we are seeing that in an economic uncertainty, people may feel more comfortable renting a home as opposed to buying, creating a large pool of prospective renters for investors. If all that is stopping you is time, well, now thanks to COVID, we have time. Use it wisely to educate and invest. The future is now and what a wonderful time to pivot and learn. Don’t let your age or circumstance keep you from financial freedom. Remember too ~ that the best way to prepare for your future is to not wait until you get there!

Shelly L. Henderson, is a wife, mother and business owner of Henderson Properties in Charlotte. Along with her husband Phil, Shelly has owned and operated Henderson Properties since 1998. Her recent book Starting From Scratch tells a tale of her journey from launching a hobby to a career all the while raising two kids. You can find it on Amazon at the link.

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This article was written by one of the many QC women who contribute to our website. They are out and about and around Charlotte digging up the latest & best scoop 🙂

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