There was time when the Totem Lake Mall was a thriving shopping center. Those days are gone and so is the mall. Although currently Totem Lake have rather average scores from Walkscore.com (just 48
There Is No Place Like Home
Guest Blog by Team Troy's Concierge - Michelle
After 11 years in the real estate industry, I just purchased my first home. I’ve made some pretty big purchases in my life – a new car, a college education, a piccolo, a motorcycle – but nothing came close to the emotional rollercoaster I felt during this process. It was exciting, terrifying, sad, nerve racking, and ultimately blissful.
When I was in high school, we were asked to write a letter to ourselves 10 years in the future about where we thought we would be and our hopes and dreams for ourselves. One of the requirements of the project was to address an envelope to ourselves so that our teacher could mail it to us ten years later. I grew up living in apartments and rental homes. I didn’t have an address to put on the envelope because we moved so often and the post office forwarding service only works for a few months, not years. Nothing for me was permanent; I had no roots.
That letter did reach me 10 years later, because I had it sent to my best friend’s parent’s home. In case you are curious, there was nothing in there about owning a home. There was a lot about my music and career ambitions. Home ownership was not even a dream on my horizon.
Throughout my college and early career years, I had my ups and downs with finances and credit. The downturn of the economy in 2007 wrecked havoc on me personally and professionally. I was already in real estate at the time and watched the crash destroy my clients and friends. Before the crash, I had purchased an investment property, which I lost to a short sale 2011 and ended up declaring bankruptcy myself in 2013.
As the economy got stronger, and my career continued, I still never thought that home ownership would be possible. “It is too expensive to own a home,” “it is too much work to own a home,” “you have to have too much down” – these are all the things I told myself, at the same time I was watching hundreds of clients accomplish their real estate goals and dreams. I was too afraid to take the leap of contacting a lender to see if I could qualify. I thought the deck would be too stacked against me with my financial past and I did not want the disappointment.
One day, I accepted my preferred lender’s offer to just find out what I might need to do to clean up my credit enough and see how much I would need to save up to buy a mythical home years into the future. Turns out I had everything I needed with a lot less money than I thought. What I already had in savings ended up being enough for my down payment through the options he provided me. He turned me on to programs that would work for me, and counseled me how to get my credit to the place I needed for a lower interest rate which took less than a week to accomplish. In a matter of hours, I went from home ownership being a pipe dream to being a goal that I could achieve with just a little hard work over the course of a couple weeks.
All I needed was to take that first step to make a phone call and have a simple discussion. I got out of my bubble of fear and let someone take a look and give me a plan. One week later, I made an offer on a home (which I ultimately did not get). Part of the process included me making several offers and being beat out on a couple of houses that I liked. The entire time, I had a lender and realtor on my team that I trusted to guide me through the process and work on my behalf. I was not walking this road alone; I had professionals with years of experience navigating.
Yesterday, when that key was placed into my hand, I cried. I am starting a new chapter in my life – one where I put faith into the process. I no longer fear having to find a new place to live at the end of a lease every single year.
There are not enough words to express my gratitude to The Touchette Team and the Troy Real Estate Group. Because of them, after years of watching everyone else accomplish their dreams, I made one that I never even dared have come true for myself. I learned it is never too early or too late to have a place to call home.
To find a real estate agent who can make the home buying process much less scary, contact the Troy Real Estate Group at 206-504-3660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.