Going from Renting to Buying? What You Need to Know

A pink piggy bank and papers on a table.

When you buy your first home after years of renting, there’s a feeling of excitement and accomplishment that kicks in. When you own a home, you don’t have a landlord setting the price and you can maintain it to your standards.

Despite the benefits of owning a home, transitioning from renting to buying isn’t a seamless process. It may have been frustrating waiting for your landlord to fix things, but now you’re the one responsible for repairs. Here’s a list of what you need to know about the transition from renting to buying.

Picking Your Team

It’s likely the purchasing a house or condo will be the biggest purchase you’ll make in your life. However, you’re not in it alone. Having a great team of people around you will make the process much easier. When you hire specialized real estate agents, they’ll help you find your perfect home and walk you through the process. 

Getting Pre-Qualified

Before you even call a real estate agent, the first thing you should do after saving your down payment is get a mortgage pre-approval. You can go through a mortgage broker or bank to determine how much your bank is willing to lend you. Your mortgage lender will look at your income, debts, down payment, and credit history when you get pre-qualified.

Once you know the amount you’re pre-qualified for, you will know what price range of homes you should be looking at. It allows you to focus your house-hunting efforts and eliminates the risk and uncertainty of financing once you find your perfect home.

Knowing What You Want

Many of us have fantasized about winning the lottery and buying our dream home. If that’s not your current situation, you need to be realistic about whether what you can afford and what you want will match up. 

Knowing the features that you need and want in your new home is essential. Take some time to think about what your must-haves, your nice-to-haves, and your deal-breakers are. Do you need a certain amount of bedrooms? Or do you have a strong idea of the kind of yard space you want? What about countertops and floors? Or do you have a specific neighborhood you’ve been dreaming of? If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it.

The Necessity of a Lawyer

To buy a home, you need a lawyer. And not just any lawyer, but a real estate lawyer. Closing on a house is a complex process. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer will ensure there are no problems with the purchase agreement. They will conduct a title search to make sure there are no legal problems with the home you’re buying, and make sure your money gets safely to where it needs to go. 

Going from renting to buying is a big transition, but it will be a positive change for many people. Being surrounded by the right people helping you and knowing what you can afford and how that aligns with your expectations will make the process much easier.

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