Tales of A First-Time Homebuyer
The Wall Street Journal is following the journey of the graduating class of 2013. We are using social media to connect with a number of graduates, and will be sharing their stories of real world work throughout the year.
Meredith Kenyon, 22, graduated from St John's University, NYC, in January 2013 with a degree in Hospitality and Management. Kenyon has been employed as a Marketing Coordinator for HeritageBank Mortgage in Atlanta since March.
22岁的梅雷迪斯•凯尼恩(Meredith Kenyon)在2013年1月份从纽约圣约翰大学(St John's University)酒店管理专业毕业。3月份以来，凯尼恩受雇于亚特兰大的房贷公司HeritageBank Mortgage，任营销协调员。
She just signed papers completing her purchase on a house in Atlanta. This is a big milestone in anyone's life, especially for someone who has recently graduated.
This is her story.
I got condo fever and instead of getting a baby, I decided to get a house! Everyone at work told me that I had to buy now, as it was such a good opportunity. Property values are really low in Atlanta, and after looking at the numbers I decided to buy. They have a program for first-time buyers called Georgia Dream Home Ownership, which has a Down Payment Assistance program for first-time buyers. Since I work for a mortgage company, I had heard of the first time home buyer program (because everyone complained about how much work it was and how it doesn't really make the company any money!)
我渴望有套房子，于是决定先不要孩子，先买房！同事都说，现在就得买，毕竟机会难得。亚特兰大的房价真的很便宜，研究了相关数据之后我就决定买了。他们针对首次购房者有一个名叫“佐治亚业主梦”(Georgia Dream Home Ownership)的项目，这个项目又有一个面向首次购房者的“首付援助”(Down Payment Assistance)计划。因为是在房贷公司工作，我听说过这个针对首次购房者的计划（因为大家都抱怨它带来了多么繁重的工作，又是怎样没有给公司带来利润）。
My loan officer, a friend and coworker, told me that this is probably the only time in my life I'll be poor enough to qualify so I'd be crazy if I didn't take advantage of it.
The program gave me $5, 000 towards the deposit. I contributed $1, 800 of my own money towards it, and that covered all the initial expenses.
My parents were a little hesitant about me buying a house, but now they see it as a good investment. They didn't pay anything towards it. I paid for it all myself. They would have helped me in a heartbeat if I asked, but that's not what this is about. They started from scratch and I will too. The interest rates are very low right now. I know it might make more sense to wait a year or two, but I didn't want to risk it. The monthly costs are around $1200 a month, so I do plan to get a roommate.
It was hard to find a house to begin with, as nothing felt right. Then my realtor showed me one that actually wasn't available yet, and it was perfect! We'd been looking for weeks and we were passing this house that her friend lived in. She told me that her friend didn't want to sell, but that he was getting married and she knew that he'd rethink, so we went up and knocked on the door and talked to him about selling it. I fell in love with it! I walked out and told my agent I wanted it. The next day we made an offer of 100% of his asking value. The realtor was a close friend of the homeowner, and that helped. The whole process took 45 days, starting with when I saw the house.
I even ended up adopting two pit-bull dogs from the owner as well; they were a bit much to take to his new home with his wife. He offered to pay for my dog food for a year, which is a help.
I do worry about the safety aspect of living on my own, as Atlanta has a high crime rate. My car was broken into last week! Having the dogs should help with that. I also think that as long as you're not stupid you should be OK. I lived in New York for four years, so I know how to be safe at night. I think it will be fun to learn about myself from living on my own.
I've been sleeping on my friends' sofa to save money for when I move into my house. I realized that I don't have any house things. Over the years, everywhere I have lived has had stuff, and I have no bed, no pans, no sheets, and will have to buy all of this. I just have a couple of suitcases and that's it.
I'm lucky enough to not have any loans to pay back. I had a mix of athletic (I play soccer) and academic scholarships that covered my fees. I argued with my Dad about this at the time, as I wanted to go to a college that offered different courses, but not as much scholarship money, but now I'm really glad I have no debt.
A lot of my friends think what I'm doing is crazy. They say things like, 'How can you buy a house, you're not even married yet?' It's because a lot of my friends are struggling with unemployment or low-paid internships after graduation. Not having that debt is one of the reasons I was able to get the house now.
I'm not a southern girl, but I really am falling in love with it now.