5 Things Renters Should Know About Owning

Moving can already be stressful, but it may be doubly so for a new homeowner

For renters who aspire to be home owners, transitioning from an apartment to a house requires a shift in their thinking that they may not be prepared to make. The financial changes that come with owning, the need to consider planting longer-term roots in a neighborhood, and new neighborhood rules are things renters may not be thinking about enough.

Moving can already be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, but it may be doubly so for a new home owner. Here are 5 things renters should know so their transition from renter to owner can be as smooth as possible:

They need to understand how their financial investment is changing

Renters may see an increase in their monthly rent every lease term, but they don’t see exactly where it goes — toward property taxes and insurance, even “luxuries” such as trash pickup. As home owners, they don’t have a landlord who handles all those details, so they need to be ready to juggle the financial responsibilities of home ownership with some budgeting.

They need to be happy with their location for the long-term

As a renter, you can bounce around from home to home every year if you want. But when you own a home, you have to stay put — unless you plan on renting it out. Location is going to play a much more significant role in their future, so they should think about evaluating school districts, access to amenities, and commute time now as they search for their next home.

They may need to abide by new rules

Renters don’t think about possible homeowner association rules they may be governed by, such as trash pickup rules or any curfews or rules pertaining to animals. Make sure to get all the information on neighborhood rules and associations to understand what new obligations there will be.

They’ll need to get into the mindset of an owner

Life as they know it is about to change. Once a former renter purchases a new home, they will no longer have a landlord to tend to their many needs, including lawn care and plumbing. The best way they can prepare is to ask their real estate agent to provide them with contact information for local industry experts. They will eventually need certified specialists ranging from HVAC companies to carpenters to electricians.

They should know their neighbors can affect their value

Renters don’t care who their neighbors are as long as they’re quiet (enough). But new owners are going to want to know whether their new neighbors are renters or home owners. This knowledge can help them gauge current and future home value in the neighborhood. If the neighborhood consists mostly of rental properties, it is likely a home owner will lose money on their house in the future. Renters do not always feel responsible for maintaining their properties the way home owners do. Property value comes down to curb appeal. Less-appealing neighborhoods often have more-appealing prices, which is not always good for buyers and home owners.


Source: “5 Things Renters Should Know About Owning,” REALTORmag