Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties)

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Ed Fallon
Philadelphia, PA
Home Loans and Mortgages

I would suggest that you qualify that objection before you try to answer it.  Make sure it is the real objection because it may be just a smokescreen.  Ask them "If I could show you how a home could be affordable, would you be interested?".  If the answer is yes, you have a lot of great options from the answers above.  If the answer is no, there is something else preventing them from buying.  Find the real reason, and answer that.

Feb 23, 2015 11:43 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I try and discern why not.  If they tell me they are unemployed with a 400 Credit Score and no money they are probably right.  But there may be some circumstances another lender could work with, or maybe they have not even spoken to a lender and they might be able to.  I point out how with Tax savings it may be cheaper to own.  I also point out that a 30 year loan will fix their housing cost, but rents keep going up.

Feb 24, 2015 04:56 AM
Mary Lawler
Realty Executives Advantage - San Diego, CA
Your Community Connection

No one is addressing the elephant in the middle of the room - they don't have the downpayment.  A lot of renters simply don't have the savings or someone who can provide gift funds or they make too much to qualify for downpayment assistance.

Add to that the lifetime FHA mortgage insurance for low downpayment scenariois, no wonder folks are renting.

Equity, tax savings and all the good news of home ownership don't replace the simple economic reality that one ought to have some skin in the game to qualify for a mortgage.

Some people I know are just going back to old-fashioned budgeting and saving for their downpayment.  Nothing wrong with doing that.

Feb 24, 2015 12:15 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

In Boise Idaho, rents are typically higher than mortgage payments, so I tell them that I can pretty much guarantee they can afford a mortgage since they are already paying one . . . for their landlord!

Feb 22, 2015 03:03 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Sometimes if they sit down with a lender they will be surprised to see that they can buy a home. You can tell them there is no obligation but would they like to sit down with a loan officer.

Feb 21, 2015 09:02 PM
Dipti Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
On a team with Praful Thakkar

So you can afford some one else's mortgage?

Jun 29, 2018 11:08 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Pamela Seley, REALTOR® , it is true, in some areas it is still cheaper to rent, but it does not hurt to educate yourself about a home buying process. Sooner or later everyone want to own a house. And they say:

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.
Feb 24, 2015 08:05 AM
Doug Kaller
Academy Mortgage, Reno, NV - Reno, NV


I tell them about the great down payment assistance grants, the 97% Home Finance Agency and 100% USDA and VA loans. In most instances, the grant will cover all of the closing costs. If they cannot afford to buy a home, it is not about the payment. It is more likely about excessive long term debt.


Feb 24, 2015 05:55 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

You might remind them that they already are paying a mortgage - plus profit, plus an allowance for vacancies, plus a repair allowance - but they're doing it for the landlord. 

Then show them the real numbers that would relate to purchasing a home similar to the one they're renting. 

Feb 24, 2015 02:58 AM
George Kiefer
The Kiefer Group - Austin, TX
Broker-Owner, GRI, CDPE, CLHMS in Austin Texas

I don't think I have ever heard that objection before given the rental market here; however, I sometimes hear the opposite objection, e.g. "we just can't afford the landlord rent increases any longer and have decided to buy a home to lock in our monthly house expense". 

Feb 24, 2015 02:12 AM
Janice Traub
West End Cages / / (770) 676-1645 - Atlanta, GA
#1 Fabricator of Solid Steel AC Security Cages

Affording a mortgage is SIGNIFICANTLY different from affording a house.

People are well aware that one bought with an illness turns the American Dream into an American Horror Story.

I was recently asked to put on the Realtor hat for someone "interested" in knowing what it takes to buy a house.  A little annoyed by the question from an aquaintance who was literally interested in picking my brain for undetermined amount of time, I responded by turning the tables on the questions.

How long will it take you to get your credit worthy?

How long will it take you to bank at least $4 - $5,000 that you won't need for day to day expenses? (If the Hotwater heater, fridge, furnace and plumbing 'go-out' you're gonna need some money.)

Can you afford to pay for more than one appraisal and home inspection should your contract fall apart?

*SILENCE* "Well, I guess I need to get my thoughts together", and not another word was mentioned about what does it take to buy a house.

There are people who are READY, WILLING AND ABLE to purchase.  I don't think having an intervention to CONVERT a renter into a homeowner is in the best interest of the renter. Obviously only relevant if "What Happens After The Sale" is of any consequence.


Feb 24, 2015 02:03 AM
william browne
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - El Cajon, CA

Often it's the fear of making a long term commitment. Empathize with the prospect. "I know how you feel, many of my clients felt the same way, however after looking at the actual numbers here's what they found". Pencil out the current rent payment vs. the proposed mortgage payment. Show them how subtracting the interest, and property tax write off will lower their taxable income, which can save many hundreds of dollars per month. Show them how they can increase their monthly take home pay by adjusting their witholding on their w-4 form at work. Point out the additional benefits of not worrying about the sudden notice that landlord is selling the house so they have to move. Depending on the economy, the chance of appreciation, or retiring with a home that is paid for. Ask them if what you explained makes sense to them, and if buying a home now sounds more like something they want to do.

Feb 24, 2015 01:51 AM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

I have not worked as a lender for years but you only have a few hard answers.

may look at a better paying job, a second job or move in with Mama and Papa.

I did have two firemen purchase a home together as long as you get along. this was a great opportunity that came from two renters who wanted to be homeowners. they lived or rented together already so it was a no brainer..

Feb 24, 2015 01:36 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Like most agents I would refer them to a trusted lender who can review their ability pay, history and goals.  You never know!

Feb 24, 2015 12:55 AM
JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

A local realtor has asked me if I would like go together to put on monthly home buyer workshops. The idea came up when someone called her about one of her listings and asked if it was for rent. The realtor told her it was not for rent and only for sale. Then she asked if the person had thought about purchasing rather than renting and the caller said she had not even thought of that option. Now the caller is well on her way to home ownership.   

Feb 24, 2015 12:52 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

We tell them, "But you already are paying a mortgage - just not yours!" Then we proceed to tell them the advantages of buying over renting. Of course, they may have a legitimate reason to rent for a while before they buy, but that reason usually comes out with some well placed questions.

Feb 24, 2015 12:35 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

You're absolutely correct, you probably can't afford to buy a home now. The question now is, do you really want to own a home in your future? If their reply is yes, I simply tell them that I can help them own a home by creating a plan, so would they trust me to help them. 

Feb 24, 2015 12:18 AM
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

I say that must love their parents, because that's the only way I know to get out of paying rent or a mortgage.

Feb 23, 2015 11:43 PM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Ah, I get that each in my calling campaign. Hint: get a Loan Officer with an assistant that is highly organized and watch the future pull through...

Feb 23, 2015 11:17 PM
Adele Langdon
Los Angeles, CA
Exclusive Realty Inc.

Hi Inna good topic, I have a buyer right now that said that same thing to me. I set them up with my lender and we are looking right now.  Some will find that they need to clean a few things up but most very definitely can start the home hunting process.

Feb 23, 2015 11:17 PM
Thomas Huot
RE/MAX New Beginnings - Catonsville, MD

This all depends on the context. If a person who says they cannot afford to buy is only planning on living in a place for a short while or they are not at least fairly certain, they are probably correct. I usually recommend that those who are fairly sure they will be staying in one place for five years definitely look into buying.

Feb 23, 2015 10:50 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

I would tell, "You are right, you likely can not afford a mortgage."

Then wait 15 seconds. Not 5, not 9, not 11, but 15 seconds.

"Between the age of 20 and 35 is when the most significant strategy to secure a comfortable retirement is created and implemented. The reality is most citizens only have one chance to make a grap at this ring. It is the money created during that time that makes the greatest difference. It is important to share with you just how that works and the incredible magical power of interest and the role ownership plays in that magic."

At the conclusion of the discussion the citizen will understand they can not afford to not do all that is necessary to afford a home. Find their overreaching goal or value and how this may prove to be a solution to many things.

Feb 21, 2015 10:27 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Then how do you afford to pay rent?

Feb 21, 2015 03:04 PM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I ask them if I can ask them some questions and then start qualifying them.

Feb 21, 2015 09:46 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Inna -- I ask them some questions.  How do you know?  Have you spoken to a lender?  Do you want to buy a home?   

Feb 21, 2015 09:42 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Like Debbie Reynolds I ask them about their current situation and why they believe they cannot buy.  Then just address the issues one by one.  Sometimes they are right and they cannot buy or maybe they should not buy. However, they may just have been misinformed.  A little education goes a long way. Always rewarding, like Debbie Laity mentioned, to see a renter become a homeowner.

Feb 21, 2015 09:26 AM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

I would have them talk to at least 2 lenders, they might be pleasantly surprised!

Feb 21, 2015 09:24 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I do have this discussion with a lot of renters. It does depend on their situation. Recently I sold a home to a couple that will save $200/month for owning their own home versus renting. Talk about a happy closing. 

Feb 21, 2015 09:18 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

It depends on what they are paying for rent and what they think they need in a home.

Feb 21, 2015 07:58 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

They may be correct.  Though, if you show them the costs of owning, they may see it differently.

Feb 21, 2015 07:14 AM
Raoul Loustaunau
EXP REALTY - Phoenix, AZ

depends what is the rent Inna and the area they are renting vs what they actually could afford ,i try to turn renters in to buyers but they need to see a benefit ,have a great day

Feb 21, 2015 06:28 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I ask if they have tried and how long ago. It may only be a matter of not much down payment and not the monthly payment. We know programs that can help them get into their own home 

Feb 21, 2015 06:13 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

I ask what they are paying in rent. Then I tell them about what they could afford if they bought a house with that money going toward mortgage, mentioning the tax advantages, etc.

Feb 21, 2015 06:01 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

If you can afford to rent you can lilely afford to make mortgage pmts.

Nov 02, 2019 08:59 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

They are nice! They take care of others before their own!

Jul 01, 2018 09:54 PM
Caroline Gerardo
Licensed in 20 states - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

If they don't have the down, a down payment assistance can help, perhaps research any conventionally priced properties that can go USDA -

If someone is a w-2 earner they have tax benefits 

Feb 26, 2015 08:14 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Adele Langdon well done! They are lucky to have such a great Realtor like yourself. How have you been? Glad to see you here:)

Feb 24, 2015 08:02 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Annette Lawrence , you are really good in it:)

Renting is more comfortable, no responsibilities, no commitments.

Decisions should be made. Too many of us focus on the money. Money is just utility; what counts is the emotional impact the home can have on the family.


Feb 22, 2015 07:42 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Great advice!

Many renters feel nervous about the financial and personal risks of buying a home, and continue to rent for years. There is more to this than money.

Talking to a lender about your option is usually complementary, so why not to use the opportunity to learn?

For ex.: Future homeowners should remember that even property taxes and mortgage-interest costs are significant, they are also deductible. The higher your marginal tax rate is, the bigger the deduction.

Feb 21, 2015 12:04 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA


Many renters don't even know that they can qualify for a mortgage. They keep paying rental fee for years not knowing that they can pay the same or less if they buy a property.

Feb 21, 2015 08:31 AM