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Making the leap from renting a home to owning a home is a huge reward! The hard work and savings have finally paid off and you are now ready to work with a real estate agent on making your dream a reality. But, perhaps you're wondering what to expect when buying your first home. It's natural to feel a sense of stress when making a large investment, as there will be a shift in responsibility and life changes. However, don't let this scare you out of your dream! Owning a home is one of the best accomplishments you will experience in life. Check out this guide on going from a renter to a first time homeowner to fully embrace each step. 

Increase in Responsibility

The best part about owning a home is having the freedom to make the space unique to you. You can paint the walls, replace kitchen cabinets, plus take full advantage of the financial savings that come with buying a home over renting a home. These are intriguing benefits of buying a home, but it's important to remember the increase of responsibility that also accompanies homeownership. This means being financially able to make any unexpected repairs, such as a broken cooling or heating. 

Repairs, Renovations, and Updates

Chances are, when buying your first home the house will need minor repairs or updates. Many incorporate this within their budget when looking at homes on the market. Becoming a homeowner means repairing broken appliances or leaky faucets, as well as any additional expenses. When working with your trusted real estate agent during the home buying process, take time to assess damages or repairs that will need addressed both in the short term and long term. If you do come across a home emergency that needs addressed as soon as possible, reach out to neighbors in your community for referrals.

Miscellaneous Home Buying Expenses

Unfortunately, there's more to simply getting a mortgage and buying a home. There is the cost of the house, but other upfront and miscellaneous expenses that may catch you off guard. It's important to educate yourself on the hidden, unexpected costs of purchasing a home. Here are some extra expenses to consider:


  • Home inspections 
  • Home insurance
  • Closing costs (Lender fees, Appraisal, Title, Escrow fees, Interset)


  • Maintenance and repairs

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.



Homeownership is known as the American Dream. Perhaps this means you are transitioning into a new phase of life with a family, and you desire to own a home. For others, it might mean no longer paying rent and gaining home equity. Homeownership is quite an achievement, but also comes with a large amount of responsibility. There are many considerations to take in, such as being financially and personally ready to tackle this new adventure. Explore these signs that you may be ready for homeownership.


You Are a Responsible Renter


Renting is a good option for those who are looking for a short term plan. However, once you have settled down you may begin to feel the downsides to renting. If you pay rent on time, along with utilities and other bills, you should have no trouble paying a mortgage every month. Making timely and consistent rent payments proves you hold financial responsibility. However, it is important to also factor in state and local taxes into the monthly budget of homeownership.

You Have Job Security

A clear sign you are prepared for homeownership is job security. It's important to make sure you are financially comfortable before signing a 30 year mortgage. If you are set in your career and don't plan on having drastic changes in the next few years, now is the perfect time to buy your first home!

You Know What Kind of Home You Desire

If you know the style of home you are looking for and have been looking in the right market, your gut is leading you in the right direction. If you are unsure of what you seek in a home, consider asking yourself these questions:

  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • What do you find important to your family?
  • What kind of neighborhood do you prefer?
  • Are you willing to commute to work? If so, how far?

Your Credit Score is Ideal

Another sign you are ready to purchase a home is excelling in a high credit score without carrying a large amount of debt. Your credit score affects the likelihood of getting a mortgage loan, and the better your credit score the better your interest rate. It's suggested to check your credit score 12 months prior to starting the home buying process.

You Are Aware of the Home Buying Process

If you are somewhat familiar with the home buying process, you're ready to take the leap. Researching how buying a home works is suggested, ensuring you're aware of each step throughout the process. The main steps include finding a trusted lender, affording a down payment, and finding a trusted real estate agent.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


Tips for Millennial Home Buyers

It's no secret that millennials' homeownership rate is significantly lower than previous generations at the same age. The Urban Institute quotes, "Today's young adults are failing to build housing wealth, the largest single source of wealth, at the same rate as previous generations. While people make the choice to own or rent that suits them at a given point, maybe more young adults should take into account the long-term consequences of renting when homeownership is an option." Although it may feel overwhelming, homeownership comes with an endless list of benefits that millennials should not rule out. The expert real estate agents at Choice Properties have gathered some tips for millennial home buyers.

Count the Costs

When investing in a home, you're not only paying for the house itself. There are extra costs to consider, such as a downpayment, closing costs, moving costs, and maintenance updates. It may sound stressful, but working with a trusted agent will eliminate most of the work and worries.

Examine Your Finances

The most important factor when buying a home is to examine your finances. When applying for a mortgage, the lender will check your income along with credit history. Take time to improve your credit, and checking your history to make sure there are no errors (which can happen!). A lender is more likely to offer a better mortgage rate when you prove you have the finances to support the purchase.

Don't Assume You Can't Afford a Home

Perhaps the most common perception of buying a home is that it's too expensive and can't be done. Although it is a large investment that requires saving money, it is possible! Take time to shop for a mortgage lender, as each one will provide different rates and offers. Seeking advice from different lenders and a realtor will help find the best option for you.

Know What to Look for

When house shopping, keep your eyes open of warning signs the home may bring. There is no worse feeling than buying your dream home only to discover it's full of maintenance issues. If you know what you're looking for these issues can be avoided, saving you money in the long run. Consider crossing the house off your list if you see:

  • Warning signs of termites
  • Cracked walls or distorted paint
  • Foundation issues, such as uneven flooring

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.




 Comparing Renting vs. Owning

One of the hottest topics in housing is whether to rent or own a home. Market conditions and personal finances and other things factor into the decision to rent or own a home. Learn how calculations actually work in order to feel confident on deciding what is right for the budget and family.


Check Numbers

The first thing to understand is how math works for each individual looking at homes. Calculating monthly costs of home ownership, subtracting tax benefits and comparing the final figure will help gauge the difference between home rental versus home ownership in the same neighborhood.

Assume a credit score of 750, a $300,000 home purchase price with 10 percent down ($30,000) for a 30-year fixed mortgage. Current rates hover around 3.25 percent. A mortgage calculator will tally the total monthly cost as follows:


Mortgage payment of principal and interest  $1,175

Property taxes  $300

Private mortgage insurance (PMI)  $133

Homeowners insurance  $67

TOTAL monthly cost  $1,675


Calculate the tax benefit by deducting the mortgage interest and property taxes. Multiply the loan amount by $270,000 by a rate of 3.25 percent for a total of $8,775. To calculate annual property tax, multiply the $300,000 home price by a national average of 1.2 percent property tax to get $3,600. The sum of $8,775 along with $3,600 equals $12,375 in deductible costs. Based on the income needed to qualify for a $300,000 home, the tax bracket is likely around 28 percent. Multiply $12,375 by 28 percent for annual tax savings of $3.465. Divide that number by 12 months for estimated savings of $289. Subtract this number from the total housing cost of $1,675 for after-tax cost of $1,386.

Compare the estimated after-tax housing cost of $1,386 to market rent for a comparable home in the same city with similar size, quality and location.


Looking Ahead

The second thing to understand is that it takes time for owning to become cheaper than renting.  A cost-benefit analysis is helpful when determining which is more cost effective but also which provides the most benefit over the long term. A breakeven horizon is when buying becomes more favorable in a year when costs to buy become less than or equal to renting costs. When it comes to making an investment, it is important to note how long it will take for this to happen if questions remain as to the benefit of renting versus owning for the future.


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