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Transitioning from Renter to Homeowner: What To Do

June 1, 2017

It’s always been the American dream to own your own home. The dream of singing your mortgage agreement and holding the title can create butterflies in our stomach though when you don’t know the first step of what to do. For those who have been renting, home ownership is a major milestone transition.

The idea of renting may be comforting (limited upkeep of your place, maintenance taken care of for you, plus any on-site amenities, etc.) but owning a home is one of the smartest financial investments you can make, and it’s never too late to get started! So, to help you transition to your new phase in life, here are some tips you can take note:

  • Understand the added costs to your monthly expenses. When you are renting, you need to set aside a budget for your monthly rent and utilities. Being a homeowner, there is the added expense of home repairs as they occur, insurance, taxes and your mortgage. Principle, Insurance, Taxes and Interest on your mortgage are typically all wrapped together in an acronym of your payment called PITI.
  • Know that you will take care of the maintenance. Is the sink dripping? Did the washer stop working? You are going to be the one to deal with any problems in maintenance. It’s always good to ask your Realtor for trusted referrals in maintenance professionals to get started in the right direction.
  • Your housing uncertainty ends! When you rent, your lease contract will come to an end, and it could mean looking for another place to call home. When you own a house, it all ends there. Keep up your payments on your taxes, insurance and mortgage, and you can stay there all your life if you want!
  • It becomes your investment. Paying rental dues is like money flushed down the drain… you are never seeing it again. However, when you own a house, you are living in an asset. As you pay down your mortgage, you increase your equity in your home. If ever the time comes and you wish to sell your home, you are able to reap the reward of the equity earned in your home + any appreciation on the overall home price. It can almost be like living somewhere for free when you get that money back!
  • Prepare your finances. Home loan rates are on the rise and it’s always best to seize the rates at their current level in the event they may go up again. Preparation is always key though in determining if you are ready for home ownership. Assess your current financial situation and prepare for extra costs in the future. Surprisingly, in some markets – it can be just as expensive, if not more so, to rent than to own your own home.
  • Learn how to do it yourself. It’s time to get handy! Rest assured, there will be a need to being learning to do repairs, landscaping, gardening, painting and more, yourself. Doing it yourself will save you a ton of money in the long haul and cut down on the additional costs of home ownership.
  • Find a good Realtor. Find a good Realtor who knows your city and areas you are interested in. If you are looking in or around the OKC area – I would be happy to help you find your first home!

Chris George Homes
Oklahoma City Realtor
Let’s get in touch: 405.843.8188

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