I bought my first house in my 20’s and boy was I scared. Who was I to be buying a house so young? Remember, I didn’t grow up with money and owning a home with one of the biggest dreams in my childhood.
My mother bought her house in her late 30’s and so I felt like I would have to work a long time and save a lot of money to have the deposit to buy a house. But because having a home was one of my biggest dreams, I decided to do things a bit differently by finding a creative way to come up with the deposit for a house.
Around that time, back in 2008, Caribbean Estate in Portmore, Jamaica was being built, this was way before the major development of malls and highway existed, and so this was the perfect opportunity for me to own my own home as the prices weren’t too too high yet.
But I needed the money for the deposit. I could take my time and save a small amount each month or come up with a way to find the money faster before the house prices started to go higher. So I decided I was going to get a side hustle to acquire the money faster. Now, Caribbean Estate’s starting price was approximately $3 million Jamaican dollars when it started in 2005, but when I was ready to buy it, the price increased to about $8 million, so it moved up in value very quickly which meant my side hustle had to be kicked into high gear. I did some teaching on the side, I started doing private lessons, private tutoring and I also sold some personal items I was no longer using in order to come up with the money and my husband started to build websites for persons.
When we eventually had enough money, I was excited because my husband and I could now go and pick the property that we wanted. We found a property we loved, selected it, pinned it on the board, but didn’t make the deposit immediately because we were undecided. We worked so hard for the money that we wanted to make sure we were making the right decision so we waited and within two days the unit was sold to someone else. Chro! Delay is the danger….
This was a painful experience because we really wanted that property. Immediately we looked for another property and made payment right away to get a unit. We weren’t going to delay again.
Next the process of paperwork and getting a mortgage started. When you buy a house after you pay the deposit the next step is getting a mortgage. To find the mortgage we had to shop around, and we eventually decided to use a bank in Jamaica to do the mortgage and after many months of paperwork and a lot of back and forth we finally got approved.
But then, what we didn’t know at the time was that we needed to find the closing cost. We were young so we knew nothing about finding more money to pay the lawyer fee, other professional fees, registration and the actual transfer of the title in our name, so again we had to do some side hustling to come up with the closing cost.
The lesson in all of this is that when you are planning to buy your first house, it’s may seem like a big dream but it can be a reality. Sometimes those dreams can seem far fetched but we can’t give up on them. Wealth is possible but we have to get creative, “yu haffi tek yu han mek fashion.”
Whether it’s a side hustle (and you can check out our free Side Hustle Guide recommendations) or selling some items you no longer need, challenge yourself to come up with the money because when you challenge yourself you will get results. Home ownership is possible for everyone. We just have to get creative and educate ourselves about the requirements, so we aren’t blindsided and also get in a state of readiness. Again when buying a house we have to bear these three things in mind: money for the deposit, mortgage application and processing and money for the closing cost to ensure you can get the keys in your hands.
Home ownership as an income producing asset opens the doors for you to buy other assets which helps you to build your wealth further and faster because one house and quickly turn into two and three houses and this is what generational wealth is built on, this is the kind of legacy we want to build! Money we say!
But it all starts with purchasing your first home. If you are just starting your wealth journey, focus on getting that first income producing asset by using creative means to come up with the money you need to get you started and build from that before you know it you’ve built a real estate portfolio, the rest is history – but you have to start.