Finance Lifestyle

How to Prepare to Go From Renting to Homeownership

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Making the decision to stop renting and start owning a home is an exciting time. You probably have a vision in your head of your perfect first home and cannot wait to get into it as soon as possible. Before you make the move, there are a number of steps you should take to prepare for this step in life that can even save you money.

Talk to a Real Estate Agent

Before you begin your home buying experience, you will want to find a trusted real estate agent. If you are not sure whether you want to use an agent yet, or which agent to choose, find a local real estate company and sit down with one of their agents. These agents can help you figure out where you want to buy a home, what type or style of home you are looking for, and what you can afford based on your budget. A real estate agent will be able to give you other helpful tips about the home buying process that will make your journey a lot easier.

Get Your Finances in Order

It is important to have a good handle on your finances before buying a home. Make sure you have the money for a down payment, and know what kind of mortgage you can afford before you look at houses. Homeownership can come with some unexpected costs for things you are probably used to having a property manager deal with, like broken appliances, water heater issues, or HVAC repairs. Having some money saved up for these expenses will help you be prepared for anything. You also need to prepare financially before building a home. Building a home comes with additional expenses from permitting, to materials, so do your research to make sure you’re aware of what you will need to make it happen.

First-Time Homebuyers Assistance

You may also want to look into first-time home buyers assistance programs early on in the process. There are a number of states, cities, and even counties that offer first-time homebuyers assistance programs that offer low-interest mortgages, assistance with closing costs, and even assistance with down payments. These programs can be incredibly helpful in buying a home. In California, the California Housing Finance Agency is a great resource for more information. 

Comparing mortgage rates and fees is another important step you can take to make sure you are getting a mortgage that is right for you. Preparation is important, especially in a hot real estate market, so take your time getting prepared to buy a house. You will be glad you did one day when you’re sitting in a home you love.

Read this next: Features That Every New Homeowner Should Care About


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