How to Make the Transition from Renting to Buying10/25/2018Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. So, it’s no wonder that feelings of confusion or anxiety can cause apprehension to take the leap. Sometimes people continue to rent because they can’t seem to find the right resources to make understanding the process easier or they feel nervous about dedicating so much of their savings to one investment. On the flip side –some renters can't escape the feeling that money is “going out the window” with every payment to their landlord. Whatever your reasons may be – if you’re considering buying a home, here are a few tools that might be able to ease your mind and help you make an informed decision. Rent vs. Buy Calculator At the end of the day crunching the numbers could make your decision easy. If you’re a left-brain kind of decision-maker, a rent vs. buy calculator like the one featured by SIRVA Mortgage could be just the thing you need in order to put your plan in motion. In order to calculate the costs, you’ll just need ballpark figures for your proposed home. If you aren't sure where to begin, you can always chat with a Mortgage Consultant who can walk you through the basics of becoming a first-time homebuyer, at no obligation. Whether you've already done your research on the mortgage process, or need a bit of guidance, you should start by estimating the following: · Home purchase price (Find out how much house you can afford with a qualification calculator) · Interest rate · Property tax rate · Association/maintenance fees (if applicable) · Down payment (programs are available that allow for as little as 3.5% down) · Closing cost estimate (some programs offer closing cost credits) · Rent amount, taxes and inflation After you use this calculator, you might want to talk to a mortgage counselor in order to sort through some of these ballpark figures. Our counselors are always available and ready to help – you can call us at 800-531-3837 for a free no-obligation consultation. You can even use the Home Benefits program to earn cash back on finding a real estate agent or save on moving services. Make a Budget When you become a homeowner, your budget will change. Not only will you most likely have a mortgage payment, but you’ll also need to budget for taxes, insurance, neighborhood fees, utilities, etc. For some renters, these additional line items still keep their budget the same or lower than while they were renting if they select a home with a great purchase price and terms. Freddie Mac has a monthly homeowner’s budget that you can download and use to start mapping out all of your possible monthly expenses to better estimate how much you can afford in a monthly mortgage payment. Ask Questions The best way to prepare for homeownership is to talk to friends who are already homeowners. Before purchasing a home, ask them a few questions: · What hidden costs were you not aware of when you bought your home? · What kinds of things should I be looking for in a home based on your experience? · How do you budget for your monthly expenses? · What do you enjoy about owning vs. renting? Talk to a Mortgage Consultant If you’re still on the fence about buying a home – you might want to talk to a mortgage consultant and discuss your options. Knowing your market and the current rates will help you make a more educated decision. You can call us any time at 800-531-3837 and talk to one of our mortgage consultants– we would be happy to help you with this important decision.