Preparing to Own a Home

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Whether planning to purchase or build that first home, there is quite a bit of preparation work to complete. Owning a home is much different than renting one. Renters pay a specific amount of money that covers most housing expenses. Food and internet are nominal extra bills, but there are many items renters do not cover.

Finances

The largest part of preparation when people decide to own homes is in the area of finances. Owning a home means paying a mortgage, all the utility bills, insurance premiums on the house, and taxes. That may add up to a lot more than the cost of rent. A budget is needed to determine if the income will support the expenses of ownership.

A lender will not approve a home loan if applicants have a high income to debt ratio. That not only includes household expenses but also any car payments, credit card debt, or other regular expenses shared by the applicants. It may be worth paying down credit cards before even filling out an application.

Saving Habits

Homeowners will be overwhelmed quickly if they do not set up a savings account specifically for the needs of the house. Remember, there is no landlord to call when the furnace dies, the pipes burst, or the refrigerator stops working. All repairs, replacements, and maintenance is now your responsibility, and those costs are rarely cheap. There will also be plowing costs, lawn maintenance, and situations that cannot even be imagined.

Moving

Preparations for moving are also required. A few friends with trucks are perfect, but that is not always the case. Decisions regarding how the move will take place have to be made to ensure there is money to cover those expenses. A moving truck can be rented for the day, which is a cost-effective option. Without any help from friends and family, that means a lot of packing, lifting, and unpacking all day long.

A moving company can be hired. It will be more expensive but will require less work for those moving. The process will take less time because professionals are fast and efficient. This may be worth the extra cost, especially if there is a risk of a bad back or past injury flaring up.