I saw this article last week and thought it had good information for people who are looking to get their feet wet in the real estate market. When I bought my first property, I had a number of surprises and learning experiences in the early days. I hope I can give new homeowners a lower learning curve than I myself had back then. 🙂
For renters who aspire to be home owners, transitioning from an apartment to a house requires a shift in your thinking that you may not be prepared to make. The financial changes that come with owning, the need to consider planting longer-term roots in a neighborhood, and new neighborhood rules are things renters may not be thinking about enough.
I understand how stressful embarking on a life-changing event such as buying a home.
Moving can already be one of the most nerve-wracking times in a person’s life, but it may be doubly so for a new home owner. Here are some tips to make the transition from renter to owner as smooth as possible.
You will need to understand how your financial investment is changing. Renters may see an increase in their monthly rent every lease term, but they don’t see exactly where it goes — toward property taxes and insurance, even “luxuries” such as trash pickup. As home owners, you don’t have a landlord who handles all those details, so you need to be ready to juggle the financial responsibilities of home ownership. It’s critical to understand these changes and the importance of budgeting to make sure you make smart financial decisions during this process.
You’ll need to be happy with your location for the long-term. As a renter, you can bounce around from home to home every year if you want. But when you own a home, you have to stay put — unless you plan on renting it out, which most home owners don’t. Location is going to play a much more significant role in the future, so you should think about evaluating school districts, access to amenities, and commute time now as you search for your next home.
You may need to abide by new rules. Renters don’t think about possible homeowner association rules they may be governed by, such as trash pickup rules or any curfews or rules pertaining to animals. Make sure to get all the information on neighborhood rules and associations to help understand what those new obligations will be.
The “owner” mindset. Life as you know it is about to change. Once you purchase a new home, you will no longer have a landlord to tend to things like lawn care and plumbing. You don’t have to do everything yourself though. Throughout my career I’ve learned who the local industry experts are. When you need certified specialists ranging from HVAC companies to carpenters to electricians, I can give you the contact information for the best people in the area.
Your neighbors can affect your value. Renters don’t care who their neighbors are as long as they’re quiet (enough). But you should know whether your new neighbors are renters or home owners. This knowledge can help you gauge current and future home value in the neighborhood. If the neighborhood consists mostly of rental properties, it is likely a home owner will lose money on their house in the future. Absentee owners and renters don’t necessarily always feel responsible for maintaining their properties the way home owners do. Property value comes down to curb appeal. Less-appealing neighborhoods often have more-appealing prices, which is not always good for buyers and home owners.
Source: Rob Rimeris, owner of EverSafe Moving Co. in Philadelphia, for Realtor.com.
It’s also important to understand that, just like your 401K, your home is an investment. You can increase that investment by making installments. Each time you make an improvement to your home you are making an installment towards increasing the value of your home. For more information on getting the most ROI (return on your investment) with regard to specific home improvements check out the staging section of this website. Or give me a call! 🙂