The Balestracci Group's Blog
1. Mark Twain House, ConnecticutIn 1873, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) and his recently wed wife, Olivia began work on their home in Hartford, Connecticut. Twain would go on to live what he described as the happiest and most productive years of his life. The museum holds many artifacts from Twain and his family, including his last pair of spectacles.
2. The Glass House, ConnecticutThe Glass House is a 49-acre experiment in modern architecture that lies in New Canaan, Connecticut. The structures on the estate were built in 1949 with industrial age materials like steel and glass (the main house being comprised of glass).
3. The House of Seven Gables, MassachusettsSalem, Massachusetts is mainly associated with the Salem Witch Trials and various pop-culture references that tie it to the supernatural. Most of the witch trials of 1692 involved residents of neighboring Danvers (then Salem Village). The House of Seven Gables was built by a Salem sea captain named John Turner in 1668.
4. Old Sturbridge Village, MassachusettsAs its name suggests, Old Sturbridge village is a reconstructed village that depicts an average New England village in the 1830s. It includes a school, country store, bank, a working farm, and several homes.
5. The Breakers, Rhode IslandThe Breakers was constructed as the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893. It is a gilded age mansion on the ocean that represents the opulence and grandeur of its time.
6. Hildene, VermontThe home of the Lincoln family built in Manchester, Vermont in 1905. It was constructed by Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln and was excluseively the home of Lincoln decendents until 1975.
7. Jackson House, New HampshireThe Jackson House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is the oldest wood-framed house in New Hampshire. It was built ca. 1664 and has post-Medieval English architectural motifs.
8. Castle Tucker, MaineCastle Tucker was built in 1807 in coastal Wiscasset, Maine. Visitors are offered a glimpse into the lives of the Tuckers, a well-known shipping family. Economic difficulties meant the home was seldom renovated and one of the most well-preserved Victorian era homes in the region.
9. Tenement Museum, New YorkWhile many homes on the list tell the story of well-to-do families, the NYC tenement museum takes visitors through a multi-floor tenement building that housed over 7,000 working class immigrants.
10. Lyndhurst, New YorkLyndhurst, an estate overlooking the Hudson river in Tarrytown, New York, is an American Gothic revival mansion. It housed many prominent figures including a a New York City mayor and a railroad tycoon.
Price isn't the only major factor that stops people from buying houses. In fact, there are adults who qualify for good fixed mortgage rates who opt not to buy a house. Part of the reason for this is history. As with any other life choice, past experiences living or owning a house matter.
What's keeping you from exiting rentals?
For example, if someone grew up watching his parents struggle to pay the mortgage to the point where his parents worked long hours, rarely spending time with him when he was a child, that person might attach home ownership to hard work, struggle and lack of work life balance. Avoiding poor work life balance for this guy could mean never buying a house.
In addition to price and past experiences, below are four other reasons why people choose to keep renting instead of buying a house. Although these four reasons are not all inclusive, they are major stalling agents:
- Changing economies can create the fear that causes you to think that even if you could afford a house right now, a significant economic shift would easily put you in over your financial head
- Adjustable rate mortgages can wreck as much damage on your ability to pay your mortgage as can a significant downward economic shift. With an adjustable rate mortgage, your monthly mortgage payment could start at $900 and shift upward to more than $1,200. A workaround for this is a fixed rate mortgage.
- Job insecurity could be the result of a person going through two or more layoffs in less than 10 years. It goes without saying that a job layoff can put a person at great risk of not being able to afford a mortgage. To offset this fear, buy a house that requires no more than a third of your income. That way you could pay your mortgage if you took on part-time work until you found a permanent job.
- Relationship changes like a divorce can also cause you to be cautious about owning a house, especially if you lost a previous house as part of a divorce.
Don't let fears keep you renting
You're right to think that owning a home will change your life. Where you might be wrong is in thinking that owning a house will drive you into prolonged debt or push you out of work life balance. You also might be surprised to discover that owning a house doesn't mean that you absolutely must take on unexpected repair expenses.
Should you buy a new house, you might enjoy seven years of repair free living. Regularly perform maintenance on your house from the first year that you own the home and decades might pass before you have to deal with a major house repair.
If you're still afraid of potential repair expenses, engage in conversations with workers at your local home goods store. These workers could offer you free tips and advice on steps that you could take to deal with minor house repairs. Additionally, some home goods stores perform interior design work, saving you the time of finding an interior designer should you decide to upgrade your house.
Just don't talk yourself out of owning a house if that's what you really want to do. There are home ownership options that let you ease in owning a house. For instance, your pathway to home ownership could start with renting a house for a year through rent to own agreement.