First Time HomeBuyer
Many factors affect the decision to buy a home. Your lifestyle, current living situation, finances and plans for the future can all factor into your choice and your buying timeline.
Buying vs. Renting
It is common for first-time homebuyers to weigh the pros and cons of buying against continuing to rent. If you have been renting, you have probably been somewhat free from maintenance responsibilities. However, you are also losing the chance to build equity, take advantage of potential tax benefits and protect yourself from monthly rent increases. Buying a home is an investment in your future and can offer many long-term benefits. Plus, when you look into it, you may be surprised—owning your dream home may be less expensive than renting!
ARE YOU READY?
Questions to ask yourself…
Do you have a reliable source of income that can be documented?
Do you have a two-year employment history?
Do you have a record for paying bills on time?
Can you afford to make payments on outstanding debts, such as school or car loans?
Do you have money saved, or can you get a gift for your down payment and closing costs?
Can these funds be verified in a bank account?
Do you have the ability to pay a mortgage payment every month, plus additional expenses?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you may be ready to buy your dream home!
BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP
Owning your own home is part of the American Dream. The benefits of homeownership are both practical and emotional. Some of the main advantages are listed below, but not every benefit can be put into words. Nothing compares to the pride you feel when you are handed the keys to the home where you will build memories with family and friends.
Stable housing costs
While monthly payments for renters go to a landlord, mortgage payments made by homeowners can build equity. For those who choose a fixed-rate mortgage, the principal and interest payments are preset for the life of the loan, a clear advantage over rental market fluctuations.
If you are like many first-time homebuyers, you have been inspired by home design shows on television, but up until this point you have been limited in your ability to make changes to your current living space. Even if your landlord lets you paint and make other alterations, you most likely find it difficult to justify spending the money to update a house or apartment that belongs to someone else.
Homeownership changes that. You have the opportunity to decorate your home the way you want, in a manner to reflect your personality. You can paint whatever color you like, get window coverings that match your tastes, put in landscaping and much more. You can also change the fixtures and finishes, to further personalize your new place. When you choose to buy a brand new home, you make the design choices from the first step. You may even be able to roll the cost of your new home selections into your monthly payment.
Move on your own timeline
If you rent a house or a condominium, you always run the risk that your landlord will want to sell the property and you may be forced to move at the end of your lease. As a homeowner, the power is in your hands. You don’t have to move until you’re ready to sell.