Finding “the one” is the first step in how most people see their future. When you find the right person to spend your life with, it truly feels like hitting the lottery. Buying (or receiving ) engagement rings, planning a future, talking about kids, and where you will live solidifies the future.
For many couples, engagement rings are more than an expression of love. They are the catalyst where talk turns into serious planning. Many couples, in the interest of starting their future, buy their first home when they are engaged.
How The Story Unfolds for More Than Half American Couples
Even among couples that are not planning on getting married any time soon, home ownership is a goal. Home ownership has been a long standing part of the “American dream”, while many of the factors of the American dream have changed over the years, owning a home is still a number one priority for most couples.
Putting down roots and owning a home is more than a romantic dream for most couples, it is a smart investment. Paying rent to help someone else afford their property delivers almost no return except giving you a place to live.
Buying a home means you are investing in your own financial future, not your landlord’s. Homeownership for first-time buyers is more attainable now than ever. Mortgage interest rates are low and there are ample homes on the market.
Two or three generations ago, buying a home was the crescendo. It was the goal. Homeownership took years of hard work and scraping to buy. For many people homeownership was so far out of reach that they did not even dare to dream it. Today home ownership is far more attainable and often the first step in a life together.
There are programs out there for first-time homebuyers that help make buying more affordable. Many couples are diving right into homeownership and putting their fears to the side.
The Second Chapter
For many couples buying while they are still engaged is how that second chapter (after the ring) unfolds. For other couples buying after the wedding, and before the kids are the way the second chapter is written.
Unless you’re really lucky or very well off, first homes are not dream homes. They are “starter homes” that may need a little DIY home improvement. A starter home is a home you can get your footing in. It is just big enough to have a little room to grow and typically comes complete with some changes you want to make right away.
The trick is to buy a home that is affordable for your budget right now, and that you can grow into at least a little bit. You may not have children right now but if you plan on having children, location is critical to ensure that your future children are accommodated.
For example, some couples with great foresight look for homes that are near high-quality child day care facilities just so they will be ready when the babies come along. Other couples look even further down the road and use “preschool near my home” as search criteria for homes they are viewing.
These couples cross all their T’s and dot all their I’s. Before the family gets on a roll, they buy their first home, get their home insurance, and a plan in place for their happily ever after.
The Happily Ever After
The face of happily ever after has changed over the years. Earlier generations viewed that first home as their happily ever after because it most cases it was the only home they would ever buy. Earlier generations bought a home and literally lived in it until they were not living anymore. They strived to pay off their 30-year mortgage in 30 years.
Today finding that happily ever after for most couples means the wedding, the home buying, the family, and then the next home buying. For many couples multiplication is an important part of their happily ever after, as in multiplying and having not just one but several kids, and not just one but a couple of homes or at least a few real estate transactions in their lifetime.
Buying that first house is such an exciting time, but growing the family can mean outgrowing that first little love nest quickly. DIY home improvement is often the solution. A lot of families decide that moving is the solution and just as many families decide that remodeling is the answer. First floor remodeling can include making unused space a little more user-friendly, an addition can “add the space”.
Adding bedroom space in the basement helps to make the current home more practical for the growing family. Home renovations through DIY home improvement are a very popular DIY activity especially for young homeowners that are motivated by making their house more accommodating for their family.
Who is On the DIY Renovation Party Train?
For many American couples, buying that first home is not the end of their happily ever after. They like to use their spare time to perfect their home for their needs and personal tastes with DIY home improvement. All you need to do for evidence of exactly how many people are spending their weekends on DIY home renovation projects is to visit a big box home improvement store on a Saturday morning.
Homeowners are taking more and more responsibility for their own improvement projects, and doing them on their own. From landscaping to installing security systems, and some of the bigger jobs like installing replacement windows and doors, are all being done by the homeowners themselves.
According to recent surveys:
- 71% of homeowners have a home improvement project planned this year
- 26% of homeowners plan on a kitchen renovation this year
- 10% of homeowners have an addition to their home planned this year
- 41% of homeowners have a painting project for their home planned this year
- 54% of homeowners make home improvements to increase the value of their home
There are of course things that homeowners prefer not to do on their own with DIY home repair and have to reach out to professional service people to do for them. A case in point in air conditioning installation. Most homeowners agree that this is best left up to professionals.
Once you have made your home into the home that suits your family perfectly, and your weekends are free again what is the next step? For many people, the next step is next level DIY. That is DIY home repairs that are done for profit.
Next Level DIY
HGTV, the cable channel dedicated to everything home, has had a tremendous influence on an entire generation. The possibility that you can buy a fixer-upper do a little DIY home improvement, and either make it your own or do the work yourself then flip it and make a lot of money for your family is something that a lot of people believe is the way to go.
Right in line with the DIY home improvement trend investment real estate is quickly becoming a part of the American dream for many people. Imagine the possibilities of buying a home at a great deal then curating every detail to your family’s specific needs or better yet selling it at a great profit, and using that money to buy the dream home your family wants.
There is a tremendous amount of success stories out there of couples that are doing just that. They are using DIY home improvement skills to create nicer homes, and build a business. They are buying investment real estate, and putting in the hard work on their own, and reaping amazing benefits. All thanks to a cable television channel that is showing anyone that is interested in exactly how to do it.
Switching Up the Dream
That couple that started out just wanting a home to put roots down, is also that couple that realized how much possibility there is in real estate. Today, the dream of homeownership is still rushing through every American’s veins but it has expanded greatly.
The new DNA of the American Dream is to buy that first home, then move on to something bigger and better, and they get there by investing in other properties. Real estate investment is no longer just something that a real estate management team handles, couples are making those moves on their own, and they are doing amazing things.
Real estate is something that never goes out of style when it comes to investing in something lucrative. Of course, there have been periods in recent memory where real estate took a serious dive, and a lot of people lost some money. But, if you can weather the storms once in a while of a down turned market, the profit is there.
Today families are making the choice to go all in, and take a leap of faith by investing in fixer uppers, doing the work on their own and flipping the property. It is generating income for these families that they would otherwise not have access too. Of course, they are really working for it, but the reward is tremendous.
It helps if someone in the group has some knowledge of construction. With a little background education in DIY home building, fewer “experts” have to be tapped in the renovation process. A lot of early entry real estate investors do not have the cash flow to call in the pros to help. They do the work on their own.
These “family” investors cut their teeth on their own home DIY projects and utilize that experience and knowledge base to apply to their new property purchases. There are some clear benefits to this DIY house flipping like higher returns at the closing table. When you have fewer professional contractors to pay out you have more revenue coming your way when you sell the house.
What does it take to be successful as a “family” real estate investment company? Hard work. DIY home improvement is back-breaking labor, a commitment to the project, and all hands on deck. It is not unusual to enlist extended family members and friends on those early projects. A six pack of beer and some pizza can get a lot of work out of family and friends.
Flipping houses becomes a family affair, with even the kids getting duties delegated to them. It is an all hands on deck type of situation in those early years of flipping. There is some added value to giving the whole family a common goal besides the potential cash windfalls.
DIY Together-Stay Together
Families that invest in real estate together, and do all the work together, have a strong bond. DIY home improvement whether it is to earn some income or to make life more comfortable helps keep families together. They are not only building something out of nothing they are building strong relationships. Working together toward that common goal than seeing that goal come to fruition strengthens family ties.
Couples that work side by side to create something report that they see things in each other that strengthens their love for their partner. Most couples that flip houses together report being happy with each other.
It could be that working together on DIY projects forces couples to really lean on each other. It definitely reduces the amount of time that they have for other things in life that are not family centered. Couples that start with nothing and make something out of it, and then profit from it, realize that working together toward a common goal enhances their lives.
Many young couples are still in the dreaming phase of what a future will look like once they buy that first home. They dream of the DIY home improvement they will make. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to moving from a renter to a homeowner, and then on to bigger and better real estate decisions.
Everyone has a dream when it comes to how real estate will affect their lifestyle. What are you dreaming about? Does your dream include some DIY home improvement?