Buying vs Renting
Even though in the long run buying a home is more cost effective than renting a home because of the equity that will build over time, many people are just not comfortable carrying the weight of paying for a home on their shoulders. Also, those who have to travel often for work may not want the day to day upkeep that owning a home requires.
There are plenty of pros and cons when it comes to buying a home versus renting a home. Since you are thinking about buying your first home, you should consider these pros and cons for several reasons. First, if you are currently renting a home, you may want to invest in property that you can later sell. Second, you will be responsible for repairs and maintenance for the home instead of being able to call your landlord or maintenance crew. The third reason you should weigh the pros and cons is if you are planning to move in the next few years. Since the housing market is a buyer’s market for now, you may have difficulty selling the home later on.
Buying A Home
- Investment property – value will hopefully only increase or remain the same
- Build equity that you can use later on
- You can improve upon your home any way you want
- You can decorate it to suit your needs
- No landlord or property management company
- Sense of stability
- Ability to live in a community, and
- You have something to sell later on
- You are responsible for all repair and maintenance costs
- Monthly payments for utilities and mortgage are more expensive
- Could take time to sell later on
Renting A Home
- You are not responsible for repairs and maintenance costs
- Free to leave once the lease has expired
- In many cases, utilities are paid by the landlord
- Many apartment buildings have some sort of security system
- Usually less expensive than paying a monthly mortgage
- Credit score is unaffected if rent cannot be paid on time
- Privacy issues
- May have to share washer and dryers
- Rent to be increased once lease expires
- Landlord may not fix items on time
- Cannot paint walls or add other features
- Deposit may be required
- May not allow pets
- Neighbors come and go
As you can see, there are many factors that you should consider when thinking about buying your first home.
But if you are ready financially and want to have your own space, you should find an agent and start looking. The average time that most people take to make an offer on a home once they start looking is two weeks. If you have not found a home within that time, you should either continue looking or rethink your decision. There is nothing wrong with waiting a few months until you are ready.
Rent To Own
Another option you may have is to buy the property you are currently renting or rent a property that also offers you the option to buy after a certain amount of time. This will give you a chance to see if you like living in the home and will give you time to get your finances in order.
Rent to own properties are usually older than other homes and have been rental properties for some time. This means that they may not be in great shape. If you are looking for a property that you don’t mind repairing, then this option may be for you.
When looking at a rent to own property, you should ask the following questions:
- How old is the home?
- How many times has it been rented out?
- What is the mortgage payment on the home?
- What is the rent per month for the home?
- How long will I have to make my decision?
- What happens if I change my mind?
- What happens if the home owner changes their mind?
You should still sign the proper contracts stating that you are interested in buying the home after the given time period. This will protect your rights and the rights of the current home owner.
When you think of your first home, you may be thinking of a brand new home. Since the housing market is favoring buyers at the moment, you may get a great deal from a builder that is developing a new housing community, or you may find a plot of land that is in an existing community. This can be a great alternative to buying an older home for many reasons:
- You will have a part in designing the home
- You will have new appliances and lighting fixtures
- You will have new carpeting and flooring
- You will be able to choose all of the fixtures, carpeting, and flooring
- You will be able to add a porch or a patio, and
- You will be able to place the home where you want it on your property
A new home can be very exciting, but it can also be a lot of extra work. The first step in buying a new home is to find property. You should visit builders and real estate agents who will file all of the necessary paperwork, permits, and other items needed to build on the property. This can take a few weeks, so be sure to plan accordingly.
The next step is to design the home. This is the fun part where you will get to personalize your home to suit your needs.
Once you have been approved for a mortgage, the property has passed all of the land inspections, and the home has been designed, construction will begin. Depending on the time of year, you will have to wait about three months before you can move into your new home.
After construction is complete, you should complete a walk through of the home, check all of the fixtures, and have the home inspected before signing the final paperwork. Then the home is yours.
Many people hire a lawyer during the construction phase so that all of the paperwork has been filed and there are no problems during the walk through.
Buying a new home is just one more option you should consider when looking for your first home. Home construction can vary as there are a few ways to build a home, including pre-fab homes that will be built elsewhere and delivered to your property where they will be assembled. Look into all of your options before deciding on a home that is right for you and your budget.
Using The Housing Market To Your Advantage
By paying attention to current housing trends and keeping a watchful eye on the homes in your area, you will be able to make an offer on a home that will be accepted. While the market is continually changing, it is a useful tool for those who are on a budget, who want to find a home that is large enough to suit their needs, and will be worth more when it is time to sell it.
When watching the housing market, consider the following:
- The number of homes that are in your area
- The number of days the homes have been on the market
- The price of a new home compared to those that are being sold by homeowners
- The price of renting vs. buying
- The number of homes that are in your price range
- The highest price you can pay when buying a home
- Interest rates in comparison to housing prices, and
- The time of year
Springtime is a good time to buy a home for several reasons:
- More people want to sell
- It is easier to make appointments to view homes
- Prices are usually lower
- People are more willing to reduce their asking price
- Income tax returns can help with a buyer’s budget
There will be plenty of people who could not sell their homes in the fall or winter months and who are trying to sell before the summertime. Homeowners that need to sell their homes before a certain time are more willing to reduce the price of their homes.
While you should consider looking at a home during any time of the year, you will find that many homes will be lower in the spring to attract buyers.
This is also the time when interest rates are re-evaluated and many lenders are willing to give loans to those whose credit is not the best. Take advantage of when interest rates are at their lowest even if it means accepting an adjustable rate mortgage. You will have the option of locking into a fixed rate at a later time.
While the housing market can change, the idea of selling one’s home will not. Homeowners may choose to wait out the current housing market, but if they are eager to buy another home or move to a new place, their wait will be short-lived. Negotiate with homeowners until a fair price can be reached. This is the same practice during a sellers market as in a buyers market. You may have to play the bidding game for a week or two, but in the end, it is the person who needs to make the transaction happen the most that will end up compromising the most.