Chris Lorenzen's Blog
You’ve never owned your own home and your thinking about buying. Transitioning mentally from renter to owner can be confusing at times. As a renter, you haven't had to deal with the ins and outs of owning your own home, and as you examine the reality of ownership, it can seem like it involves more cons than pros. You have to take care of all maintenance, repairs, insurance, upgrades and more. With all the added work to maintain only to one day resell your home, it might not seem worth it. So why is buying a good idea? Here’s why!
Consistent monthly payments
As a renter, you constantly are subject to rent increases. Depending on your city or neighborhood, this might be a small percentage annually (if your rental unit is under rent control), or an annual increase determined in your rental agreement. In many cases, your rent is subject to your landlord’s discretion at the end of each term of your lease, and if the property value and quality of living go up in your neighborhood (as you hope it does), it could price you out of your favorite living space. When you choose to purchase a home, you make a longer commitment, but your monthly payments are guaranteed to be the same throughout the repayment of your fixed-rate mortgage. Living with no surprise changes allows you to set budgetary and lifestyle goals further into the future, and the certainty to achieve them.
Equity and future cash flow
Yes, you will likely need to take out a loan to purchase your own home. The upside to ownership is that every mortgage payment you make increases the percentage of equity you have in your home. When you rent, you are only paying toward the term of your lease and the owner of the rental property gains all the equity. Investing in your own property helps your financial stability for the future. The more equity you have, the better your net worth and the more you can invest in other properties or goods. The more stake you have in your home, the more valuable it becomes to you when you want to sell your property in the future—to create cash flow, or to invest in a new home, other property, or your retirement lifestyle.
Apart from the personal value of owning your own home—taking care of it, raising a family there, or starting a new life in your place—the investment can add even more value to your life. If you’re considering your first home purchase and aren’t sure about the commitment or investment value, speak with your local real estate agent for the best advice for you. Review your current means, your interests and abilities, and your life goals and let them help you make the right decision.
Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.
While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.
In today’s post, we’re going to do just that. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.
1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood
It’s easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesn’t drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.
2. Getting pressured into making a decision
Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.
It’s when we’re under pressure that we can make choices that we aren’t happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you don’t make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like you’re being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, there’s a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.
3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home
Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you don’t plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.
This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that won’t appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.
4. Didn’t consider all financing options
There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.
While there may not be one “right” decision when it comes to financing your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.
Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.
Buying your dream home may prove to be a long, arduous process. Thankfully, those who prepare for the homebuying journey can limit the risk of encountering hurdles along the way. And as a result, these homebuyers may be better equipped than others to enjoy a fast, seamless property buying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three things you need to know before you launch a home search.
1. The current housing market may favor buyers or sellers.
It generally is a good idea to evaluate the current housing market closely. That way, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
A buyer's market typically features a wide range of quality houses that may remain available for several weeks or months after they are listed. Comparatively, a seller's market usually is defined by a shortage of top-notch homes, and houses may be purchased just days after they become available.
Regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it helps to refine your home search. If you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria, you can narrow your search for your ideal residence. Then, once you find your dream house, you can act quickly to submit an offer to purchase it.
2. You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can begin your house search with a budget in hand. You next can hone your home search to residences that fall within your price range.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. They also can help you make an informed mortgage selection in no time at all.
3. Having a real estate agent at your side can make a world of difference.
Homebuyers who try to navigate the property buying journey alone may struggle to achieve their desired results. On the other hand, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you search for your dream house.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to streamline the homebuying cycle. Thus, if you want to acquire a first-rate house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Or, if you want to find a stellar residence that won't force you to break your budget, a real estate agent will make it simple to discover an affordable house that suits you perfectly.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can respond to your homebuying concerns and queries. And if you are ever uncertain about how to proceed along the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to provide tips and recommendations.
Want to enjoy a successful homebuying experience? Start planning for the homebuying journey today, and you can boost the likelihood of achieving the best-possible results.
Whether you’re shopping for your first house or your next house, finding a listing you love is exciting. You browse the pictures, check out the property facts, share the link to your significant other, and maybe even schedule a showing.
With the exciting prospect of owning a new home that has all or many of the features you’re looking for, it can be easy to forget about certain details that matter. Most of us look for similar things in a house--close proximity to work, enough bedrooms, an upgraded kitchen, and so on.
In this article, we’re going to give you a list of things to investigate about the house you’re looking at to get a better idea of whether or not it’s the perfect match for you and your family.
1. Re-read the listing
If you’re like me and get lost in the photos of a home and forget to make note of the details, be sure to go back and check out the listing a second time. It will likely give you important details of the house that you overlooked on your initial visit.
Look for things like the year the house was built, information of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, and the total acreage of the lot and square footage of the home. These things are hard to accurately represent in the listing’s pictures, but will likely be important to your decision of whether or not you should view the home.
2. Do your online research
The number of things you can learn about a home and neighborhood on the internet is astounding. We suggest that before you go to visit a home, you spend 10-20 minutes on Google researching the following topics:
School district ratings. If you have or plan to have school-aged children, you’ll want to know what your options are for your child’s education. It’s often a good idea to check out the local schools’ websites to see what
Commute times. With Google Maps and similar sites, you can plan out what your new commute will be and see how long it will take. You might find different routes that will save you time or avoid traffic (we could all use those extra few minutes in bed every morning). Google Maps isn’t always accurate when it comes to morning traffic estimates, but it’s a good place to start.
Amenities. Having moved into a neighborhood that has no grocery stores within a 20-minute drive, trust me--you’ll want to know what’s in the area. Use Google Maps to find stores, gas, schools, parks and trails, hospitals, and other things you’ll want close by.
Street view. While we’re on Google, use street view to take a remote look around the neighborhood. You’ll be able to see how the infrastructure looks--if the neighborhood is taken care of and if there are sidewalks that offer a safe place to walk or jog.
Crime ratings. Don’t get too caught up in this section. Crimes happen everywhere, but this is a good way to see if the area you’re moving to is a safe place
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If, after all of your online research, you decide you want to go view a home, don’t be shy when you arrive. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to be a burden in someone else’s home. But remember--if you’re considering living there someday you’ll want to know as much as possible before making an offer.
Test the plumbing, ask about average utilities, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them questions about the community. The more you know, the better. Happy sleuthing!
If you find your dream house, you likely want to submit an offer to purchase this residence as soon as possible. That way, you can avoid the danger of losing your ideal residence to a rival homebuyer.
Although you may strive to quickly submit an offer to purchase your dream residence, it is important to allocate sufficient time to craft a competitive homebuying proposal. Ultimately, there are many reasons to be diligent as you prepare an offer to purchase, and these include:
1. You can avoid the risk of overpaying to acquire your dream house.
You want to buy your dream house, but at the same time, you don't want to pay too much for it. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about a home's condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may be better equipped than ever before to submit a competitive offer to purchase.
Analyze a house's condition closely as you put together a property buying proposal. It often is beneficial to consider any potential home improvement projects as well.
Also, take a look at the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town as your dream residence. With this housing market data in hand, you can establish a price range for homes that are similar to your dream residence. Then, you can submit an offer to purchase that accounts for the present state of the housing market.
2. You can submit an offer to purchase that falls in line with a seller's expectations.
It usually is beneficial to consider the seller's perspective as you put together an offer to purchase. By doing so, you can craft a homebuying proposal that falls in line with a seller's expectations.
If you think about the seller's perspective, you may be able to avoid submitting a "lowball" offer to purchase. Because if you understand how a seller may perceive your homebuying proposal, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase that likely will make a positive impression on him or her.
3. You can increase the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller.
With a competitive offer to purchase, a seller may respond with an instant "Yes." As a result, if you craft a competitive homebuying proposal, you may be able to move forward with a home purchase and quickly acquire your dream residence.
As you navigate the real estate market and prepare an offer to purchase your dream house, you may want to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer honest, unbiased recommendations about how much you should offer to pay for a residence. And if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase too.
Ready to make your homeownership dream come true? Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to find your dream home and submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.