What is a good investment for a Musician? I like to play it safe…in other words, when the economy hits a record low, you can’t live in a Bitcoin. And unlike Stocks and Cryptocurrency – Real Estate can never be worth Zero Dollars.
I’ve bought dozens of houses in and around Nashville so I’ll give you some insight on what I’ve learned first hand. You can receive a statement from your financial advisor saying your investments in the stock market have gone from $X to $0. But if you own your house, you can walk outside, look at your house and say “I own that house…and it is definitely not worth $0. Sure, there are the ebbs and flows of the housing market. But if you are using the house as your primary residence and music studio….why does it matter if the market tells you your house is worth $500,000 or $400,000? Besides…if your property value does go down, that just means you might end up paying less property taxes, which is a good thing! The majority of people that are worried about their property value going down are the people that might need to sell their property someday. You should think of Real Estate as a LONG TERM investment. In 1993 my Grandfather bought a large piece of land south of Nashville with an old house that needed to be restored. He could have bought a bigger house in Nashville, but he saw the potential and decided to buy the fixer upper in the country instead. He had that land until he died in 2021. Do you think he cared when the market crashed in 2008 and “The Market” told him his property value had dipped? Absolutely not….in fact he was one of those people that enjoyed paying less property taxes. 🙂 But at the end of the day, he made a good investment, and it paid off. That property was sold to the owner of the Tennessee Titans. They paid 36 times the amount of money he paid when he bought the property.
One key when investing in Real Estate, or buying a home 🙂 , is making sure you can afford the property. Sounds simple right? When buying my properties I could have bought a bigger, flashier house. But I’m Cheap! The thought of having a paid off house sounded better than having a monthly mortgage payment. So I bought a cheaper house and I was aggressive with my payments, and over time I paid off my house. And no, I did not receive family money to pay off my house. I paid my house off 10 years ago and started from the ground up. 🙂
One way to find Cheaper Real Estate
Virmedius is based in Nashville but I liked the idea of having a house outside the city so that I could build a studio inside the house and not worry about city noise contamination. Or on the flip side, having our studio sound be too loud and annoy neighbors. This worked in my favor because living outside Nashville meant a cheaper purchase price and property taxes.
Buyers Beware – living outside the city also means you might have less buyers when and if you need to sell. And of course if you live outside the city, it’s a longer commute.
WHAT KIND OF MORTGAGE SHOULD I GET?
I would recommend a 30 year fixed rate loan. This means the interest rate will stay the same and if you make the minimum payment without refinancing you will pay your house off in 30 years. Yes you can sell the house if you need to, this does not mean you have to keep the house for 30 years. There are other loan options but this has been a great option and really reliable. I have friends that could have had an interest rate of 3.25% but they liked the idea of a “Lower Rate” balloon payment for 5 years. This means after the 5 years you either have to sell the house or refinance. The market is terrible right now so they don’t want to sell their house, and the interest rates are now around 7%….so they have to refinance and their monthly mortgage payment will go up. They should have just locked in a 30 year 3.25% loan when they purchased.
Another piece of advice would be to get aggressive and save up enough to put 20% of the purchase price down when you buy the house. If you do not put 20% down then you will need to pay PMI (Primary Mortgage Insurance) Honestly, PMI is only a couple hundred dollars a month, BUT if you add the couple hundred dollars + the amount you will be saving on your monthly mortgage payment by putting 20% down, you’ll see that your monthly payment will be a lot less.
DO NOT TAKE MONEY OUT OF YOUR MORTGAGE!!!
I have a really good friend that got a great price on his house. A couple years later his property value went up so he decided to borrow money from the equity of his house. In case you don’t know: if you bought your house for $300k and the property value is now $400k that means you have $100k in equity and banks will loan you a percentage of the equity in your house, but of course, you have to pay it back with interest. It’s basically the same thing as taking out a credit card, but if you do not pay THIS credit card back…they will take your house from you. Terrible…Idea. The goal in Real Estate is to PAY OFF YOUR HOUSE, NOT GO INTO MORE DEBT!!! So now this friend still owes more money than the price he bought the house for 10 years ago. And with a 30 year mortgage, that means he was only 20 years away from paying off his house. But now he is not even close to paying it off.
Which leads me to refinancing. If you have a great interest rate DO NOT REFINANCE. When you refinance your loan you usually start the clock back at 30 years. Don’t extend the time you have a mortgage!!
A lot of financial advisors will say “You don’t want to be aggressive paying off your mortgage because the interest rate is so low” or “You can’t get that money back out if you pay down your mortgage loan, you should keep it liquid and let me invest it.” BUT REMEMBER, LETTING THEM INVEST YOUR MONEY CAN TURN TO $0! As far as not being able to get your money back out…. THAT’S A GOOD THING!! It’s a LOT harder waste money when it’s not readily available.
It’s not about making a bunch of money, it’s about having the freedom to do what we love. Without a mortgage I had the freedom create Virmedius and not have to worry about charging our artists an arm and a leg. So it was a win / win. For instance, you can submit your music to our Spotify Playlists for free on our Free Playlist Submission page. Most websites charge you 🙂
DISCLAIMER: These are just opinions of the author. We do not know the real estate market in your area so have no way of knowing if its an ideal time to buy a house or property in your area.