This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.
I grew up in a single parent household and my mom never discussed finances with me because there were not helpful resources like these from SunTrust to advise my mom about financial responsibility. She didn’t understand the importance of teaching me to become a financially responsible adult and how instilling that knowledge in me would change the trajectory of my life.
Now that I am a mom, I want to make sure I am providing my daughter with all of the necessary tools like the resources provided by SunTrust to help Madison become a thriving and financially savvy young lady when she grows up.
Teach Financial Confidence Early
The opportunity presented itself for me to discuss money, finances and to how to help Madison understand that the decisions she will make as a young adult and her views on money; will shape the rest of her life.
Madison and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner when she began to discuss her vision board and all of the destinations she wanted to see as she got older. Madison made the dreaded comment at the ripe young age of 11, “I will probably never buy a home because I want to just travel the world.”
Madison then asked me, “what is the point of owning a home if she will never be there? I will move from place to place so I can see the world because who wants to be worried about cutting grass and stuff breaking down when I will probably be living in South Africa or Thailand working with Big Cats.” Madison wants to be a veterinarian who cares for Big Cats.
I decided this was the perfect opportunity to have an open and honest discussion about finances and homeownership in a way she would be able to understand. My husband and I wanted to dispel the misconceived notions about home ownership and help Madison to understand home ownership is always a good idea.
Why homeownership was important to my husband and me:
As far back as I can remember I knew I wanted to own a home and I wasn’t interested in being a renter for the rest of my life. I saw how important it was for my mom to own a home and achieve the “American Dream” by having something that belonged to her.
For me, owning a home represented stability, independence, and I had finally become an adult. While I do understand that the younger generation’s perception may be changing and that they are waiting a little longer to buy a home, I want Madison to understand buying real estate is still a major milestone and sound investment.
Purchasing a home provides options whether it’s selling to make a profit, rental property, or even leveraging the equity in the home to pay off major expenses; home ownership is always a good idea!
Renting vs. Owning?
As Madison and I were discussing the pros and cons of homeownership, I wanted her to know that she was an integral part of our decision to purchase a home. I have this beautiful daughter whom I wanted to raise in a better neighborhood. I also wanted to provide her with the best education, which was the determining factor for our decision to purchase in our current neighborhood.
In very plain language that even an 11-year-old can understand, my decision to purchase a home was based on the numbers. Why would we continue to give free money away to the owner of the home we were renting from and allow him/her to reap the financial benefits of our hard earned money?
If you’re trying to decide whether to buy a house or to keep renting, it is important to do so with the right resources. Purchasing a home for me was not for short-term gains, but a way for my husband and I to ensure our girls have a future.
Freedom to Make Your House a Home
When you are renting you don’t have the freedom to create your own style because the property belongs to someone else. Once you have your own space you can turn your empty shell of a new house into an inviting home. Because I am a travel blogger, I knew I wanted a mural of a map on the wall of my office and I wouldn’t be able to have an artist come in and create the map of the entire world on a wall in someone else’s home.
My office was the first room I was excited about decorating. I could see my glass office table with my computer, the beautiful art on the walls and of course the amazing mural of the world that I could look at every single day to provide me with inspiration for all of the places I wanted to explore.
I Want To Travel and Never Be Tied Down to a Mortgage! I Want To Be Freeee!
Now back to Madison’s initial thoughts on homeownership. Somewhere in Madison’s young mind, she thought if you own a home, you’ve signed up for a lifetime of servitude.
Nonsense! We travel as a family extensively! We have been to places people only dream of going. I asked her how many 11-year-olds have traveled the world. She is even planning her trip to Exuma for her 12th birthday.
If you want to travel and be free, then rent your house out and have someone else pay the mortgage while you’re away.
If you rent, that’s what you’re doing for your own landlord now!
Make Sure You Are Financially Prepared
Madison and I talked about how exciting it was for us when we moved to Murfreesboro and how it was one of the most exhilarating — and stressful — moments of our lives. From James and me getting married, moving to a new city, and purchasing a home. Also, being armed with the right information to be able to shop for our home, apply for a mortgage, and close the deal with confidence with the help of SunTrust.
My Top Steps to Purchasing Your New Home
Step 1: Determine how much house you can afford
The first thing to do before buying a home is to make sure it’s the right time to do so and not because you are making an impulse buy. Only buy a house that you can afford today!
Step 2: Make sure your finances are in order
The last thing you want to do is find the home of your dreams only to discover you’re not qualified to buy it. Please, Please, Please make sure you know your credit score, have the cash to close, and verifiable income.
Watch Your Credit Score
Getting a mortgage requires a good credit score. I would suggest checking your credit report for errors a year prior to obtaining a mortgage and invest in a few months of a daily credit score monitoring service.
Step 3: Start saving for your cash down payment
In addition to making sure your credit score is in order, you’ll also need cash if you really want to make buying your first home a reality. Your down payment is typically between 3.5 and 20 percent of the purchase price; so start saving now. If you need additional tips to help you get started I suggest checking out the resources from SunTrust, which will give you the financial confidence to move forward with home ownership – one smart step at a time.
Lesson learned through the eyes of an 11-year-old
I have decided the summer of 2018 will be about teaching my daughter to become a financially savvy young adult. I don’t want to wait until she is in the 11th or 12th grade to start discussing finances with her because by the time she is a senior in high school, her opinions about money will already be formed and it will be too late.
I think the first step in teaching Madison to become a financially savvy young lady is to open her a checking account at SunTrust and teach her money management skills because SunTrust has helped me become financially confident. Through our talk, I hope I was able to provide her with some insight into home ownership and she realized home ownership does not stop you from traveling, going back to school, or even pursuing your passion.
I challenge you to start thinking about financial confidence and home ownership and teaching your children the importance of having financial confidence.
Your life is how you see it. When you believe you can, you can! When you believe you cannot, you cannot!
This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.