WHO can afford a home? Even in Augusta Martinez Grovetown Ga where the initial cost of a home is quite reasonable in comparison with the rest of the country~!
As a GENERAL rule, if someone can afford a home, they should probably buy one rather than rent.
Now... WHAT does Afford a home mean? It means more than just saving the 3-5% down payment. One must also consider the inherent costs of home ownership. There are yearly Taxes, Insurance, Furnace and HVAC repairs, Water heaters that burn out, Pipes that burst, Roofs that must be replaced... the list can go on and on...
These expenses are often overlooked by home buyers AND their Real Estate Agents. To be perfectly honest, even in today's difficult mortgage market with its stringent standards, a portential home owner cant count on the mortgage lender assuring that a home is affordable to them either.
Please do NOT think that *I* am trying to talk anyone OUT of being a home owner! Seriously, I AM a Realtor! While I do manage rentals, my livelihood comes from SALES of homes, from making people Home-OWNERS.
When working with prospective Home Buyers who are currently renters, I always lay out all the facts on the table. It is my philosophy to treat them as if they were a member of my own family and give them ALL the facts so that they can make the best decision for THEIR situation and their lifestyle! That is my Duty to all my clients.
In short.... There are more things that make up AFFORDABILITY than down payment and monthly mortgage payment!
Tomorrow I will discuss the Advantages to Buying vs Renting!