Mom-Turned-Realtor Tonya Brown Says: “Stop Renting, Start Buying”
Mom-turned-realtor Tonya Brown’s new book, “Stop Renting, Start Buying: 8 Steps to Buying a Home After the Housing Crisis” is chock-full of information that will help prospective homeowners approach this major financial purchase armed with knowledge and prepared for just about any eventuality. If you’re new to home-buying, this book is for you.
Brown tells us that motherhood has inspired her career.
“Motherhood has been my greatest inspiration,” Brown tells Mommynoire. Being a young mother inspired me to get serious about life because at that point I had more than myself to think about. Fourteen years ago when I became a widow, I became very aggressive about building my business because it was important to me to ensure that my children would not feel the economic disparity that often goes along with being raised by a single mother.”
As most mother’s would agree, balance between parenting and being a career-woman doesn’t come easy.
“The hardest part was finding balance, however my family was a great support system,” Brown reveals to Mommynoire. “You can’t do it alone, you need support. Being a mother has always been my top priority. Being a young 20-something mother allowed me to build my business around my children instead of having to fit my children into a life that was already in progress.”
I honestly don’t think I sat down and figured how to make it work, I just sort of fit the pieces together.
“In the beginning I made a conscious decision to keep my mortgage and real estate company small and independent because I knew that would allow me to work around my children’s schedules, be active and present within the business and provide and excellent an income for my family. Now that my children are adults they are still my biggest inspiration as they assure me that I have been the best mommy ever and encourage and support me to further pursue my dreams.”
Brown admits that she had a big learning curve in the beginning of her business, but she did the work to get her finances right.
“I’ve done many fiscally irresponsible things along the way,” she admits. “But I think the sum of all my fiscal decisions lie in the fact that I failed to manage my money. If you don’t manage where you money is going, you will be wondering where it went. I spent money without enough planning. I did not work within a budget. I had a plan for everything other than the money. I also went against my own principle which is to live below my means, I began living up to my means. Which makes it hard to stay a float during a storm.”
Shes says she was able to rebuild her business after the housing crisis by, “doing the work,” to quote Iyanla Vanzant. She also continued her education around finances by becoming a Certified Financial Consultant. Brown alos makes sure to keep abreast of current online and social media practices so that she remains relevant in her industry.
Today I’m in a better place financially than I was at the height of my career because I manage my money. It’’s not what you make but what you do with it.
Tonya Brown addresses’ her 30 year financial story in her new book, “The Road to Blisss: My Dysfunctional Relationship With Money and How I Finally Found Blisss,” available on Amazon on November 15, 2015.
One of her best money tips?
“I plan for both wants and needs. I don’t buy anything without first planning for it and never put a want before a need.”
Here are more tips from Tonya Brown if you’re thinking about home-buying:
1. Get Pre-approved Before Falling In Love With A Home.
Home-buying does not begin with house hunting unless you have all cash and do not need a mortgage loan. The first thing you need to do is get your financing in place. It is the only way to actually know whether you are financially capable of making a home purchase.
Pre-approval is when a lender has agreed to grant you a loan without you yet committing to buy a specific property. A lender will check your credit history and verify your income and provide assurances that you will be able to obtain a mortgage loan up to a certain amount.
2. Don’t Spend Every Dollar You’re Qualified For.
The excitement of buying a new home can cause you to lose your head. Sometimes when you fall in love with a house, common sense jumps right out the window. Pre-approval is based on gross income, but mortgages and bills are actually paid with your net pay (take home dollars).
3. The School District Will Affect The Price Of The House.
Buying a home in an area with a sought after school system raises your property value. Homes in these areas typically do well in resale. Families with children are willing to pay slightly higher prices to get their children into excellent public schools. So even if you don’t have kids, it pays to check out neighborhood’s school district.
The 2015 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study found that the “quality of the school district” was the sixth most important factor influencing the neighborhood choice of home buyers around the country, but for buyers 35 to 49, the school district was the fourth-most-important factor.
4. Now Is Not The Time To Make Low-ball Offers.
It’s not 2009-2010. The market is no longer in a downturn. Low-ball offers are a waste of time and energy and often insults the seller, futher dimishing your chances of securing the home. Today’s market requires you put your best foot forward. Many sellers are now are seeing multiple offers so many have no interest in entertaining a low-ball offer. While you and your agent are busy crafting low-ball offers and counter offers, another serious buyer will come in and scoop up your dream home with a full or very near full-price offer without contingenices.
5. Listen To Your Agent’s Advice.
Your agent is a real estate professional. He or she is negotiates offers and the market on a regualr basis. You are not going to tell your attorney how to argue your case in court or your doctor how to operate. So just as you allow other professionals to do their jobs your realtor should be afforded the same opportunity.
For more information about Tonya Brown and real estate, visit her site, Blisss Life Realty.