The decision to buy a home is not one you make lightly. It takes a lot of planning and work to find the right house for you, but it can have great benefits over renting. As long as you go in prepared, a house is a great investment. Keep in mind that there are many differences between renting and home ownership. Are you ready to stop renting and start buying an Oregon home?

Differences Between Renting and Buying

The pride of owning a home is compelling. It drives people to save and work hard to get a house. But before you take this major step, it is important to be aware of the differences between renting and buying.

The Yard

You are responsible for maintaining your yard, sidewalks, and driveway at all times of the year. You may be excited about the prospect of having your own yard, but keep in mind that this can be a lot of work as well. You are responsible for your own landscaping and snow removal. You can always enlist services that will take care of these things for you, but you need to build the cost into your monthly budget. If you love planting flowers and have dreamed of your own garden, your own space will be a dream come true. Just don’t underestimate the amount of work and money that go into those things.

Maintenance

You are responsible for your own appliances and repairs. While you were renting, most likely, appliances were included for you. Not only that, if something broke your landlord would fix it for you and pay for it. In your own home, that is an entirely different world. You must provide your own appliances. Even if appliances are included with the house, you may wish to update them. If something goes wrong, you need to fix it yourself at your own cost. It’s important to have money put aside for not only the down payment, but extra money for household costs that come up. A home warranty or warranties on your appliances are good ideas to save money here.

Utilities

It will cost more to heat and cool due to the size of your dwelling. Your home is probably much larger than your apartment or rented space. Because of this, prepare for your electric bills to increase. You may want to do some research and recalculating to help you figure out how much more you need to pay in electricity bill costs per month as this affects your available income for your mortgage payments.

Upfront Costs

You need more money up front before you even get into a home. You no longer need to worry about a security deposit, but you have other costs that you need to account for when buying a home. Instead of a security deposit, most lenders require a down payment. This is usually between 3 and 20 percent of the purchase price. You also need to pay closing costs. As an example, for a house that costs $200,000, your closing costs may average $2,100. Closing costs cover other things you need such as title insurance, the home inspection, insurance escrow and more.

Insurance

There’s more to your monthly payment than just the mortgage. Your monthly payments aren’t just paying your portion of the loan on the house. You need to pay homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance, and property taxes. These things are easiest to pay when they are wrapped into your monthly payments for your house.

How to Prepare to Buy

Now that you are aware of what goes into owning a home, you still want to have your own place to hang your hat. Learn how to prepare to buy a house so you are ready when you find the right one.

Save Money

First off, you need to save money for your down payment and closing costs. Even though you may think you’re ready, it’s important that you have more than enough saved to cover these expenses. You don’t want to zero out your savings with these. You may need money above this to deal with unforeseen costs.

Get Pre-Approval

In order to find out how much you qualify for in terms of a loan, you should do a pre-approval with a qualified lender. Pre-approval gives you an idea of the price range of the houses that you should look at and what you can afford at this time.

Narrow Down Criteria

Once you know how much you can afford to spend on a house, you should think about your criteria. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? How much square footage do you need? How big of a yard do you want? These things are important factors when searching for a house. You need to decide which are the most important to you and which ones you can compromise on.

Choose a Realtor

Choosing a realtor is an important step in finding your house. This person is skilled in this industry and will be able to advise you on your home search. Usually, your realtor also sets up a system so you know immediately when a new house comes on the market in your price range. This person is your advocate and help you through any issues that may come up.

Make sure to prepare adequately ahead of time and your home buying experience can be a pleasant one. Good luck with your search! The professionals at Beach Loop Realty are ready to assist you every step of the way.

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