Lisa Oleksak-Sullivan - Westfield, MA Real Estate, Longmeadow, MA Real Estate, West Springfield, MA


For most college students and recent grads, the prospect of buying a home seems slim and distant. With the cost of a college education growing each year and the price of houses inflating, it can seem daunting to begin to save for a down payment or build credit.

 However, there are ways to start planning now for buying a home, even if you are burdened with student debt and rising rent.

 In this article, we’re going to do just that. If you’re a recent grad or a current college student, read on for a guide to buying a home.

What do you need to buy a home

Once you graduate college you might be wishing you could have taken an elective called “How to Be an Adult 101.” There are many personal finance problems in life that just aren’t taught in school, from saving for retirement, to borrowing for a house or car, to investing in stocks and bonds.

So, what are the main things you’ll need to buy a home? Before you start applying for mortgages, you should know that just because you can get approved doesn’t mean you should buy a home.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and one that most homeowners take decades to pay off. With high interest rates and private mortgage insurance (PMI), the cost of owning a home can be immense.

To avoid PMI and get a good interest rate, you’ll need a few things.

Credit score

Your credit score is one thing that lenders take into consideration when determining how risky it is to lend to you. They want to know that they’ll receive a return on their investment and that you won’t stop paying your mortgage. A good way to gauge this is by looking at your financial history.

Your credit score mainly takes into account the following five things:

  1. Payment history - 35%: Do you pay your bills (utilities, loans, etc.) on time each month?

  2. Credit usage - 30%: How much of your maximum credit have you used? If you max out your cards this can reflect poorly on your ability to manage money. However, if you don’t use any accounts you might have a hard time building a payment history.

  3. Length of credit history - 15%: The longer you’ve been paying bills the more trustworthy you are to lenders

  4. New credit - 10%: If you recently opened or attempted to open cards this will temporarily lower your credit score as it could be a sign of financial duress

  5. Types of credit - 10%: store accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. Having a variety of credit types will boost your score.

Having student loans as a college graduate can often give your credit score a leg up on others who don’t have a credit history. However, to boost your score you’ll want to keep making on-time payments and consider using a credit card if you can afford it.

Employment history

Most recent college grads cringe when they hear that their employment history is important to lenders. However, you might be pleased to know that being a full-time student is something lenders take into consideration.

They will, however, need to see employment history from your current employer, and the more you can prove that you have a stable job the better.

Down payment

One of the most important things you can do right now is to save for a down payment. Designate a portion of your paycheck each week to a separate savings account if you need to in order to hold yourself accountable. The bigger down payment you can make, the better your interest rate and the more money you’ll save over the length of your mortgage.

Finally, don’t let increases in your salary change your lifestyle. Staying frugal will help you avoid “lifestyle inflation” or spending more simply because you make more. Decide what you value, and choose purchases wisely.



65 Wildflower Circle, Westfield, MA 01085

Single-Family

$419,900
Price

9
Rooms
4
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Meticulous 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Home in sought-after, Munger Hill neighborhood. An inviting Kitchen is bright and airy with skylight, cathedral ceiling, quartz countertops, island and stainless appliances. An open floor plan between kitchen and family room (with fireplace) will welcome friends and family. Sought after 1st FLOOR ENSUITE MASTER and a Mudroom/Laundry Room you DREAM about will impress! Second level offers a Loft - perfect area for Home Schooling; 3 Bedrooms & Full Bath! Amenities include custom blinds throughout the home, C/Air, Electric Sub-Panel installed and ready for a generator. An unfinished basement offers more potential livings space. The Private Backyard Sanctuary is the place you won't want to leave with a custom 24 x 16 in-ground pool surrounded by beautiful landscaping and wired for outdoor sound. Within walking distance to Munger Hill School and Columbia Greenway Bike Trail and within minutes to shopping and restaurants.
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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16 Spruce Street, Westfield, MA 01085

Single-Family

$274,900
Price

8
Rooms
4
Beds
3
Baths
You will be AMAZED at all the space this 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath Cape has to offer. A spacious living room with fireplace for cozy fall evenings and plenty of natural light. The formal dining room is quaint with built-in china cabinet and swinging French Door. Special features include 1st Floor EnSuite Master (in-law space), a finished lower level which is a perfect spot for home schooling this fall or a home office or media/playroom as well as a 3/4 bath, cedar closet and workshop. Hardwood floors have been beautifully refinished, replacement windows, Newer HW Tank and NEW ROOF 2020 (main house). A fully fenced back yard complete with fire pit, shed and back deck. Within walking distance to Stanley Park and Westfield University - Location, Location, Location! Showings start Sunday 9/13.
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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80 Radisson Lane, Westfield, MA 01085

Single-Family

$419,900
Price

7
Rooms
3
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Nothing to do but move right in to this Pristine, One Owner, 3/4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath EXECUTIVE RANCH with 3 Car Garage! Take a tour and be impressed with features that include High Ceilings and an Open Floor Plan for Easy Living and Entertaining; Kitchen w/Center Island and Newer Slate Appliances; Gas Fireplace for ambiance and cozy fall evenings; an EnSuite Master Bedroom with trayed ceiling; Home Office/4th Bedroom, 1st Floor Laundry, C/Air, Security System and C/Vac. Potential for more living space in basement which is plumbed for a full bath! Set on a serene and private lot! You will enjoy outdoor living on the spacious back patio and covered front porch! Welcome Home!
Open House
Saturday
September 12 at 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 80 Radisson Lane, Westfield, MA 01085    Get Directions

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This Condo in Westfield, MA recently sold for $125,000. This Townhouse style home was sold by Lisa Oleksak-Sullivan - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


1430 Russell Rd, Westfield, MA 01085

Condo

$128,000
Price
$125,000
Sale Price

4
Rooms
2
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
WHY RENT when you can OWN!!! Affordable carefree living is available at this condo located at College Village Condominiums! This Two Bedroom, Two Bath, Townhouse features an Updated Eat-in Kitchen with loads of cabinets and counter space and a spacious Living Room with beautiful updated flooring. Extra Living Space in the Finished Room in the Basement along with laundry and storage room. Barbecue on your back Patio. Bathrooms, heating and cooling systems were also updated. Just minutes to Westfield State University, Stanley Park, Shopping and other area amenities. VA approved.

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