Post # 1
The other day I got really pissed at my job and decided to myself I would see how much money I needed to take my photography business full time and set a date for quitting. Well I added up what I would have by the end of the year if I save my butt off and it’s ALMOST enough to put a small down payment on a home. I really hate my job and am so passionate about my business…BUT I also want to be a homeowner. I’ve told myself I’m young enough to do both (follow my dream and own a home later on down the line) but I’m still not sure what the right thing to do is.
What would you do if you found yourself in my situation? Use the savings to pursue your dream or own a home? My husband said he doesn’t care if we own a home or rent, but he wants me to be happy either way.
Post # 3
Just a suggestion..
If you put the downpayment on a house and wait a year you could use the equity against your house to start your photography business. Interest rates will be much lower this way than taking a loan or putting your expenses on a credit card.
Plus you’ll have the stability of a home (you could set up a professional photography studio in a bedroom) and the bonus of building credit. Also, if you set up a studio at home, you can claim a lot of your home expenses on your taxes: heat, electricity, office supplies etc.
My hubby does this with his masonry company. Works out nicely for us. Only downside is that we had to sacrifice the garage and most of the basement for his supplies and tools.
Post # 4
I don’t think its crazy to try and do both. Get your business going, and in a few years, buy a home.
I will say though, my SIL is a photographer, and you wouldn’t believe the explosion of crappy “photographers” that are cropping up nowadays. Anyone with a nice camera and the time to create a Facebook page thinks they have what it takes. She used to be the only person in her area, and now there are at least 30 people, in a relatively small town
Post # 5
I definitely am not comfortable taking out a loan to support my business. I prefer to fund it myself from money I’ve saved lol. I feel safer about it that way. I also forgot to mention my husband and I have less than stellar credit *cough* and I don’t even know if we could qualify for a loan.
Yeah photography is a difficult business to survive in just because the market is SO saturated. It sucks but it does make me more motivated to stay on top of my game. There are hundreds of photographers out here.
Post # 6
If you have bad credit, I’d put your money into a home and building good credit. Yes, photography is your passion, but can you do that on the weekends? Can you go part-time and try to start up photography and see if it’s sustainable?
Post # 7
I think if you are realistic about a photography business then you can succeed. I know that when I was looking at photographers, I looked for one that was:
1) Flexible on pricing
2) Willing to build a package around my needs
3) Friendly and prompt communication
4) Showed a range in style
5) Willing to take a risk and do something offbeat
I actually ended up finding my photog at a bridal show because they had these massive prints up of a zombie engagement shoot they did. My photogs were amazingly friendly, totally into my crazy ideas and willing to go out of the box and give me exactly what I wanted. Coincidentally, they were trying to break into the more offbeat market at the time and get away from old-fashioned, posed pictures and were willing to give me a huge discount to fit into my small budget. We both won. I have amazing wedding photos and almost a year and a half later, they still use my pictures as promotional material.
I did talk to a lot of photogs when I was planning that were too fixed on their pricing and packages and not willing to work with me. Yeah, they didn’t get my business.
Personally, I voted to follow your dream and buy a home later. I’d rather live in a crappy apartment and love my life than work a crap job and own a home. Do your business now and buy a house in a couple years.
Post # 8
@kate169: if you quit your job to fulfill your photography dream, would you be bringing in the same amount of income? probably not at the beginning. it will take a while to get yourself established in your new field. i would suggest keeping your job (bite the bullet for now) and buy the house and start the photography business on the side; part time. as you build your business, then you can buy more photography equipment as needed and start to work less at the job you dislike. you can make a smoother transition this way without affecting your monthly budget. as pp mentioned, you can also use a lot of your bills from your house as business expenses.
Post # 9
My photographer was working in a corporate job last year also, quit it and took up photography full time.. You have to do what makes you happy! I personally would follow my dream.. although I’ve been following it for 4 years and it’s gotten me no where (trying to get into professional school).
Post # 9
Life is too short, home ownership is overrated, pursue your dream!
Post # 10
Thanks for all the responses guys! But just to clarify, I already have a photography business, but I do it part time on weekends and spend time editing/blogging/adminstration/office stuff during my time off from the day job. So I wouldn’t be starting a new business, I would be taking what I already have to the next level and dumping the job I hate. I actually have the potential to make a little more as a wedding photographer even in my second year because I don’t make that much at my corporate job. I hate my job so bad I sometimes cry at my desk. But I do really want to own a home so its a tough choice.
Can you get approved for a mortgage if you have bad credit? We are working on the credit thing right now by making monthly payments on an auto loan we have (neither one of us had much credit and we weren’t smart with what we had to begin with).
Post # 11
I’m not sure how your mortgage would be with bad credit, but I think paying off the credit is the first step, regardless of house or photos or job choices. Whichever job can best help you do that should be your choice.
Curious- if you already do the job, why are you calculating all the money you’d need to take it full-time? I’m not seeing where that money would go?
Post # 12
You can get approved for a mortgage if you have the finances to back it. If you have a downpayment and you both have steady jobs (don’t say anything about wanting to quit yours) then the insurance might be a bit higher, but they have no right to refuse you.
Do you have a credit card (through same bank that you would apply for a mortgage) that you could prove you’re trying to improve your credit?
Post # 13
A lot of it is my husband’s student loans. He wasn’t working for a while after graduation and didn’t have the money to pay them so he let them go and he’s just now finally getting things out of default. We actually have less than 800 in credit card debt and I plan on paying that off by this summer unless something crazy happens.
Since I’m working full time now I’m used to getting a paycheck every two weeks of the same amount. When I start doing photography full time (thats my only income) I’m worried it will be a rough transition since I’m used to being paid a lot more frequently so I wanted to have a decent nest egg before leaving the security of my full time job. Just so I don’t have to stress about making my car payments, paying taxes, etc before wedding season is in full force again. Wedding photography is seasonal so there is definitely a low season in the winter months where we don’t make as much. Does that make sense? I just want my savings to help me set myself up to succeed.
Post # 14
If you really want to get out now, the first place that I would start is to look at your upcoming year and assess oppurtunities to book clients. Start marketing yourself via social media and see what the response is. If you can schedule steady work (at least one wedding a month? or maybe 3-4 portraits sessions) than I would probably sit down and really really hash things out.
Honestly though, I would save up, buy the house and then go for it. That light at the end of the tunnel will help you with your everday struggle. Do you have any flexibility to change jobs from what you’re currently in? Check craigslist or such for Photography studios that might be looking to hire.
Post # 15
@kate169: It’s very difficult to buy a house if you’re self-employed, because banks see that as a red flag, unless you’ve been established for a good while. They like to see stable income source (preferred: at the same employer for 2 years or more).
It may make sense to buy a house first and then go into business for yourself.