“She was on top of the world,” Boyer said. “One day I said to her… ‘Carol, what drives you to do this?’ She said, ‘The American dream. That’s what drives me to do that.’ It stuck with me because it sounds so simple, but there are so many people who never achieve that goal of the American dream.”
Today, Boyer — a successful owner and broker of Imani Realty and Associates of Willingboro, New Jersey — has made it her mission to help home buyers live their own American dream.
The legacy of home ownership
For more than 30 years, Boyer has lived and worked in Willingboro, where she says people settle down to raise families. It’s the kind of place where people buy homes to create a legacy, a concept instilled in Boyer from a young age.
“My parents said to me, ‘Everybody should have a home,’ ” she said. “It’s amazing that over the years, I could see that [home ownership] is generational. If you own, your children are more likely to own a home because they see the value.”
Even for those who have the benefit of a familial legacy of home ownership, significant shifts in the real estate market in recent years can present challenges, Boyer noted.
A changing real estate landscape
Today’s buyers often have a misconception that they won’t need to supply detailed financial information when applying for loans, Boyer said.
“A lot of people have heard the stories of ‘no documentation,’ ” she noted. “That expired in 2006, when the bubble burst.”
Securing a loan can be especially tough for self-employed individuals. Boyer advises that self-employed people should be prepared to show two years of income documentation, and lenders will use after-expenses net income — rather than gross income — to determine eligibility.
Buyers with subpar credit should meet with a financial professional to fully understand their situation, Boyer said, adding that they’ll need to learn and implement the proper steps to take to become credit-worthy before they can purchase a home. “That’s the most important thing, because if you don’t have a game plan, you’re not going to succeed [in meeting] your goal,” she said.
No longer a seller’s market
Today’s market doesn’t clearly favor either buyers or sellers, Boyer said. However, homes can sell quickly and profitably when location and additional factors — pricing, aesthetics, and other details — are positive, she said. She added that sellers should take their Realtors’ advice about needed upgrades.
Barbara Corcoran, one of the star investors featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” gives clients similar advice.
“You may not like the idea of putting money into a home when you’re moving out,” Corcoran has said. “But it’s demanded by the market. You need to show it off…Get professional advice.”
In Willingboro and surrounding areas, Martha Boyer uses her decades of professional experience to advise both buyers and sellers on achieving their own version of the American dream.
For more information visit http://imanirealtors.com or call 609.877.9000.