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Do I Rent or Do I Buy!!

Posted By Beth Ross @ Apr 15th 2012 1:30pm In: General

Renting Versus Buying

Not everyone needs to be nor wants to be a home owner and that is ok.  Don't get pressured into doing something that isn't right for you!  Take the time to research and get to feel comfortable with your decision!

First - take a look at a rent vs buy calculator -  make sure that your goals and lifestyle are important for home ownership. 

Second - Find out if you are financially able to purchase a home. 

  • Get with your bank or a mortgage lender to determine WHAT you can afford. 
  • You may think you might be able to afford something, but have you taken into account all the responsibilities that go with that home? 
  • Mortgage payment, insurance, taxes, PMI, upkeep, extra insurance requirements based on where you are interested in purchasing, etc.

If the above works for you and you feel that buying a home is the smart thing to do then go on to the steps below.  If not, it's ok to stay a renter!!!  It's a personal choice that only you can make!!

Third - Find a Realtor that you feel comfortable working with. 

  • Research them, make sure they are doing a great job as they are going to be the ones helping you find just the right home for you.  This is a huge investment for you and you don’t  want to settle on just anyone! 

Fourth - With today's tools available for you as the buyer, make sure you take advantage of all of them in addition to what your Realtor finds for you!

  • Internet
    • Zillow
    • Trulia
    • Google Maps
      • Check out the area from an aerial view - make sure there isn't "hidden" problems that you can't see from the road
      • County Websites
        • Go to the county website of the area you are looking for
        • Check out the zoning, taxes, and other areas of that site to help you become familiar with your choice.
        • Find out what ordinances may affect your choices
        • City Websites
          • Find out if there are additional taxes that would increase your annual fees for living in a certain area
          • Check out the zoning and ordinances in that area also
          • Check the development out, see if there are HOA (Home Ownership Association) fees. 
            • What are the fees
            • What do they cover
            • Are there any upcoming assessments
            • What may be future assessments
            • How solvent is the HOA
            • What are the restrictions
            • How often have the fees gone up in the last 5 years.
            • Are they managed by outside management or home owners board


Fifth - Don't be afraid to ask questions

Sixth - Don't go from Realtor to Realtor asking to see different properties and calling and asking different questions.  (Gee does this maybe sound important since I've mentioned Realtor Twice!!

  • Find one you feel comfortable with and have them help you with your research.  Be fair to them and they will be very fair with you!

Seventh - Be comfortable in your decision. 

  •  Don't be rushed into making a decision by anyone.  Yes, the home may not be there, the rates may go up or you may just not feel comfortable with the process at that time. 
  • Most important - DON'T BUY A HOUSE the same day you look at it!  Go home, sleep on it, go back for a second look and then make the final decision.

Eight - Get your home inspected and make sure you invest in Title Insurance also!

Nine - DO NOT GO AND BUY anything of large value -

  • car, furniture, appliances, etc. thinking that you have to have all the new things before you move in. 
  • I have seen deals fall apart because the buyers went out and bought new furniture to be delivered and the lender reran the credit before the final loan was approved and that new bill wiped them out of getting a loan.  They had new furniture but no house to put it in!!! 
  • Learn from their mistake!! 
  • Listen to your Realtor and Lender!!

Ten - DON'T MOVE until it has actually closed and recorded at the courthouse and you have keys in hand!!

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