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    Graduating From Renting To Buying?


    If you are considering buying a home and you currently rent, there is much for you to think about. Ask yourself the following questions first and be sure you’ve got some pretty good answers before taking the leap to buying a home. Although owning your own home is a glorious dream come true, if you’re not fully prepared for it, you could be in for some big surprises and frequent headaches.

    1. Do you have the time for a home? Most renters simply pick up the phone and call the landlord when a problem arises in their apartment, but you won’t have that luxury as a homeowner. Can you fit home and property maintenance into your schedule? Are you prepared to give up your weekends of leisure for fixing pipes, painting, mowing the lawn and all the other responsibilities facing you as a home owner? Think long and hard about what you are going to be getting yourself into and make sure you are ready for the commitment and how it changes your lifestyle.

    2. Have you got the short-term money? Check out your credit report and discuss mortgage options with a lender. Can you qualify for a decent interest rate? Can you come up with the cash for a down-payment? There are costs for closing, insurance and a slew of other fees the new home owner is responsible for: can you handle it? Will you be left in a financially compromised position after signing on the dotted line for your new home?

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    3. How will buying impact your future finances? Unfortunately, a new home can be a never-ending money pit. Even if you’ve got no problem covering the initial costs, are you prepared for the inevitable surprises that come with home ownership? Will owning a home interfere with your ability to save for retirement or continue your education? Consider the future repercussions of buying before you set your heart on it.

    4. Is relocation or family expansion in your future? A smart buyer always factors in a possible re-sale, even if it doesn’t fit current plans or is not foreseeable. Is your job stable? Could your company ask you to more or do you anticipate better opportunities in another city? What if you have a baby? Will your new home grow with your family or retain its value well, should you be in the position to sell later? Consider all of these things before committing to the transition.

    5. Can you accept the permanent changes? Renting may not be ideal in all areas, but it certainly is a lot more flexible than buying. What kind of neighbors will you have with the new home? Does the school system meet your standards? Buying a home is a dramatic change in lifestyle if you’re accustomed to the ways of renting and if you don’t adapt to them well, won’t be happy with your new living arrangements.

    Buying a home is a big responsibility that comes with enormous change; make sure you are fully prepared for all that is involved and that the timing is right for you.

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