Are you considering making the jump from renting to homeownership? It’s a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. There are a few helpful things that you can do to prepare for homeownership while you’re renting. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Simulate a homeowner’s budget
Taking a homeowner’s budget for a test drive is a great way to assess your financial situation before you make a major purchase. It may feel like you could never possibly predict all of your homeownership costs down to the last cent, but with the help of a trusted REALTOR®, you’ll be able to get an estimate of what to expect financially. They can help you figure out how much you can afford, help calculate your potential mortgage, research the local property taxes, and even shed light on what types of repair costs are reasonable to consider as a future homeowner. Though it’s impossible to forecast exactly how finances will change when buying a house, taking that budget for a test drive can put some bit of confidence in knowing you’ve done your due diligence and are adequately prepared!
Know your credit score and work to improve it if necessary
Knowing your credit score is an important step in responsible money management. When you know where you stand, you’re able to make improvements and stay informed about any changes to your credit score over time. One of the best ways to keep up with your credit score is to monitor it regularly with one of the many free apps available on the market today. Working to improve your credit score also helps you qualify for lower interest rates on loans and provides more financing options when needed. There are several simple steps you can take to improve your credit rating such as ensuring that all payments are made in full and on time, paying off any outstanding balances, reducing the number of open accounts, and avoiding taking out too much in loans or revolving debt. Taking the time for regular check-ins with yourself about how your credit score is doing can ultimately lead to more financial freedom in the future.
Start saving for a down payment – the sooner the better
The sooner you start saving for a down payment, the sooner you’ll meet your goal. There are several ways you can build a down payment fund. Setting up automatic payments to a dedicated savings account is helpful because the money won’t be easily accessible for any non-essential purchases. You can also start small by cutting back on certain expenses and adding that extra money to your savings account each month. Here are some more ways you can save for a down payment while renting.
Know which home maintenance and repairs you’re comfortable doing yourself
Knowing your own skill set when it comes to home maintenance and repair can be quite the saving grace when it comes to saving time or money. Researching the upkeep of a home and getting familiar with the basics can help in the long run, especially if you have a good idea of what kind of projects you’re comfortable working on, and which ones are better left to the professionals. Familiarizing yourself with methods to safely tackle all home maintenance projects is key. Also, keep in mind that purchasing new construction can be beneficial because there will be fewer home repairs than in an older home.
Start now to prepare for homeownership
Homeownership is a huge accomplishment and a big responsibility! By taking the time to do your research and understand the process, you’re setting yourself up for success. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to owning the home of your dreams.
Ready to buy your new home or have any questions about the homebuying process? At Hayden Homes, we pride ourselves on building quality new homes in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Washington. Our team can help you find the home that’s just right for you at any stage in life.