For years home ownership has been the American dream, but, according to the Pew Research Center, a higher percentage of us are renters than at any other time in the last 50 years. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. For many people renting may be the right choice. Every individual and family needs to consider all the factors and make the decision that’s right for them.
The Financial Consideration
There’s a rule of thumb called the price to rent ratio. You get it by dividing the price of a house by the annual rent. For example, if you can buy a house for $300,000 or rent it for $1500 per month, the ratio is 300,000 / (12 * 1500), or 16.7. When the number is 15 or less, buying is the better choice, when it’s 16 to 20, renting becomes more favorable and when it’s over 20 renting is significantly better. However, this fails to take in factors like down payment amount, financing terms, taxes, insurance and other costs, which can vary widely. A more accurate number, telling you how long it will take to cover the up-front costs of ownership and pull even financially with renting, can be found using one of many calculators available.
The Other Considerations
While this sort of calculation is valuable, there are other questions, both financial and lifestyle-related, that the potential renter or buyer must ask.
What can I spend upfront for down payment and closing costs?
Can I afford a major repair such as replacing a furnace or air conditioner? There are insurance-like plans to defray some of that cost, but those make up another annual expense.
How long do I plan to stay? Selling a home and buying a new one is costly and time-consuming.
Which is more important to me, stability or flexibility?
Advantages of Home Ownership
As the inheritor of the American dream, the homeowner has some opportunities and privileges that the renter can’t enjoy.
Appreciation and equity. As home value rises and morgage balance drops, homeowners gain equity, which for many is their most valuable asset.
Freedom to remodel. There’s no landlord telling you what you can and can’t do with your property.
Stable monthly payments. Taxes and insurance can increase, but principal and interest payment remains the same. If you stay there long enough, eventually you’ll have no principal/interest to pay at all.
Tax advantage. For most people, it isn’t what it was before the 2017 tax changes, but interest and taxes may still be deductible.
Stability. You can become a member of your neighborhood and your children can stay in the same school system. No landlord can decide to sell and give you notice.
Advantages of Renting
No large upfront expenses.
Your landlord is responsible for major repairs.
Still some opportunity to build credit by paying rent promptly.
You have less at risk. You won’t be affected if property values fall.
Flexibility. If you choose to move you can easily give notice and do so.
Here’s one last question: which feels better, the satisfaction of owning your own castle or the freedom to change your life quickly? The answer may go a long way toward pointing you in the right direction.
Believe it or not, the process of buying a home can become long and complicated. And if you're not careful, you may encounter many hurdles that prevent you from acquiring your dream residence.
Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the ins and outs of buying a house and help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three common misconceptions associated with buying a home.
1. You will be able to acquire a house in a matter of days.
The process of locating your dream home is unlikely to happen overnight. Instead, a homebuyer usually will need to perform extensive housing market research to discover a residence that meets or exceeds his or her expectations.
Typically, a homebuyer will look at several houses before he or she can find the right residence. This homebuyer then will need to submit an offer on a house. And if a home seller accepts the homebuyer's proposal, a home inspection will need to be completed before a home purchase is finalized.
It is important to set realistic expectations for your home search. In most instances, it may take a few weeks or months to find your perfect residence. But with a diligent approach to your home search, you'll be able to discover a house that can serve you well for years to come.
2. You will be able to buy a home for less than a property's initial asking price.
Understanding the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market is essential for a homebuyer.
In a buyer's market, many high-quality residences are available. This market usually favors homebuyers, and in many instances, enables property buyers to secure great houses at budget-friendly prices.
On the other hand, a seller's market features a shortage of first-rate properties. As a result, this market favors home sellers, and many homebuyers may compete with one another to secure the best houses.
Regardless of whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it is paramount to avoid the temptation to submit a "lowball" offer on a residence. By doing so, a homebuyer can minimize the risk of missing out on an opportunity to acquire his or her perfect residence.
3. You can find your dream home without help from a real estate agent.
When it comes to buying a house, the early bird catches the worm. Therefore, an informed, persistent homebuyer is more likely than others to locate a terrific home at an affordable price.
Ultimately, working with a real estate agent is ideal. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and much more. He or she also will respond to your homebuying questions and ensure you can acquire a stellar home in no time at all.
Take the guesswork out of buying a house – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can make your homeownership dreams come true.
The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:
1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won't find anywhere else.
Let's not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.
2. You can look at the big picture.
Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.
Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
3. You can get the help you need to succeed.
No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.
As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.
Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.
What does it take to acquire a top-notch home in a seller's market? Ultimately, it may prove to be a lot of work, especially for first-time homebuyers.
In a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of home sellers. As a result, high-quality houses sell quickly, and homebuyers who lack real estate insights may miss out on an opportunity to purchase their dream residence.
Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the ins and outs of a seller's market and ensure you can secure a first-rate house in any housing market, at any time.
Now, let's take a look at three tips for homebuyers who want to purchase a house in a seller's market.
1. Understand Your Homebuying Needs
Know what you want to find in a dream home before you start checking out properties. That way, you can narrow your home search and pounce on new homebuying opportunities as soon as they become available.
Creating a list of must-haves for your dream home may prove to be a great idea. This list will enable you to refine your home search and accelerate the homebuying process.
Also, consider your immediate and long-term home needs. If you plan to raise a family in a new home, you may want to consider exploring houses that are close to schools. Or, if you don't own a car but work in a major city, you may want to assess properties near public transportation.
2. Examine Your Finances Closely
Let's face it – the temptation to outbid rival homebuyers can be overwhelming in a seller's market. However, homebuyers who understand what they can afford can map out their home search accordingly.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes in a seller's market – you'll be glad you did. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know what you can spend on a new house and tailor your home search based on your budget.
Don't forget to meet with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your mortgage options as well. By doing so, you can learn about different mortgage options and select the right one based on your finances.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands that buying a home in a seller's market can be exceedingly difficult. As such, he or she will do everything possible to help you purchase a great residence at an affordable price.
Collaborating with a real estate agent is a must, especially for homebuyers who are operating in a seller's market. A real estate agent can set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. Plus, he or she can keep you up to date about new houses that will meet or surpass your expectations.
Buying a home should be a fast, easy process, even for homebuyers who are searching for a residence in a seller's market. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble navigating a seller's market and acquiring a superb residence.
When it comes to buying a house, there is no need to deal with a stubborn home seller. However, you may encounter a stubborn home seller, regardless of how well you prepare for your homebuying journey. And if you're not careful, a stubborn home seller may cause you to miss out on an opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.
Don't let a stubborn home seller get the best of you. Instead, use these tips to ensure you can handle negotiations with a stubborn home seller like a pro.
1. Don't Panic
If you are forced to deal with a stubborn home seller, there's no need to get discouraged. Conversely, consider the property seller's perspective, and you may be able to get the best results out of a tough situation.
Open the lines of communication with a home seller – you'll be glad you did. If you maintain open communication, you may be able to find out the root cause of a home seller's stubbornness and plan accordingly.
Also, don't panic if a home seller fails to communicate with you, and try to avoid assumptions at all costs. By doing so, you'll be able to remain calm, cool and collected and maintain your patience as you try to figure out the best way to acquire your dream house.
2. Be Prepared for the Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios
In the best-case scenario, a stubborn home seller will explain his or her demands. Then, you can negotiate with a home seller, find common ground with him or her and work toward finalizing a home purchase agreement.
On the other hand, it is important to understand the worst-case scenario as well.
In the worst-case scenario, you and a home seller may be unable to find common ground. And if this occurs, you should be prepared to walk away from a potential homebuying negotiation and restart your search for the perfect residence.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Are you unsure about how to deal with a stubborn home seller? There's no need to worry, especially if you consult with a real estate agent.
With an expert real estate agent at your side, you should be able to overcome any potential homebuying hurdles.
An expert real estate agent will act as a liaison between you and a home seller. He or she will learn about the needs of a homebuyer and home seller and ensure both parties can achieve their ideal results.
Furthermore, an expert real estate agent can respond to any homebuying concerns and questions. This housing market professional can teach you about the ins and outs of purchasing a residence and provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you simplify the homebuying process and ensure you can secure a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can get the support you need to deal with a stubborn home seller.