There’s no other way to say it – paying rent cost you thousands of dollars a year with no return to show for it. Millions of Americans have been paying rent for most of their lives and little do they know that homeownership isn’t far from their grasp. Here are 5 things you can do to free yourself to own a home.
- Meet with a REALTOR®. You need to speak with an expert who can walk you through not only the home buying process but can also give you an understanding of where would be a good place to buy, what challenges to be aware of, and what other service professionals you may want to use as you enter into the process.
- Meet with a Mortgage Lender. A mortgage lender is going to tell you exactly what you need to do to get approved for a home loan. They’re also going to provide you with loan options that would be best for your personal financial situation. You should NEVER start to look at homes without first meeting with a lender. Otherwise, you can spend a lot of time looking at homes you may or may not be able to afford.
- Start saving money now. You’re going to have some upfront cost such as earnest money deposits, inspection cost, and an appraisal fee to name a few. It would be wise to have a few thousand dollars in the bank to ensure you don’t get hung up on money when it’s time to start writing checks.
- Have a full understanding of your current lease agreement. You should beware of when you’re required to move out but what if you find a home before that time, can you break the lease early without any financial penalties? What if you don’t find a home right away and it goes beyond your move out date? Can you go month to month? If so, how much is it going to cost you?
- Start researching neighborhoods now. It’s so much more helpful to you, as the buyer, to have a good idea about where you think you may want to live. It’s also going to help you to have a realistic understanding of what that market is like. Is it a seller’s market in that neighborhood or is it a buyer’s market? What do homes typically sell for? How close is it to shopping? What are the schools like and how far of a commute is it for you to work? All of these questions matter! And the more you can do on the front end the more information you’ll already know when it’s time for you to buy.