Whether you are buying or renting, there is nothing more exciting than getting your first place. But there is a lot to do in preparation for this. It can be a really frustrating process, but just know in the end that it is worth the effort. Of all of the homes that I have owned, each one has a special place in my heart. Some caused great heartache in the purchase, but being a homeowner is a great feeling.
I never realized how much work buying or renting a home could be. There were so many deposits that I didn’t budget for. I had no idea of the amount of money that it took for closing costs. It is very important to make sure you understand what will be involved before making the decision to move out of your parents’ home.
Lastly, whether buying or renting, keep your yard and the outside of your home maintained. Nothing brings down the neighborhood more than overgrown shrubs and grass. House paint does not last forever. I am a licensed real estate sales associate, so I hope the information below will be helpful to you.
- For renting: usually first month of rent, last month of rent, and a security deposit
- Application fee for community neighborhoods or for renting
Buying a Home:
- If you are moving to a new area, always rent before you buy, if you can. Get to know the areas of the town to see which fits you and/or your family best.
- If you’re purchasing directly through the homeowner, make sure to have a real estate attorney review the contract.
- If purchasing through a realtor, take your time and do not get pressured to buy. You can still have a real estate attorney review the contract if you are unsure of the wording.
- Do not buy the first home you see. View several homes before deciding.
- Know what you can afford. Get pre-approved.
- Check out the neighborhood where you intend to buy.
- If you do not have children but plan to, check out the local schools where you intend to buy.
- Know where the nearest fire station is located. This could help lower the price of your homeowners insurance.
- Do not buy to the limit of what you “qualify” for. This will help you in the long run to prepare for life’s unexpected events such as a loss of job or extended illness.
- Understand what you are signing. If you have questions and do not feel they are being answered, do not sign.
- Know when garbage pickup day is.
- Know when recycling day is.
- Find out if the property is in a flood zone. Shop around for quotes on flood insurance.
- Shop around for your homeowners insurance. Make sure you understand the policy and what it covers. Know what the policy will cover in the event of a natural disaster. Make sure you have adequate coverage to rebuild your home in case disaster strikes. Be sure to get replacement coverage on your home and its contents.
- If you are part of a homeowners association, know the rules and abide by them.
- If there is a homeowners association, make sure to get in the application and fee in plenty of time before the closing.
- Get an estimated list of the closing costs so that you understand completely what funds you will need. You need to understand that this is an “estimated” listing and you will need to be prepared to pay more than the list states in some cases.
- If you do not have enough for a down payment, consider asking a relative for the money. They can give it as a gift and write it off on their taxes.
If you have any questions on buying or renting your next home, please contact me today at (239) 390-4027. For more information on buying a home or renting an apartment, you can also pick up my latest book “Ace Your Life – Life Management Skills Made Easy.”