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Olivia Prince

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Ask O: Is Renting Really Cheaper Than Buying?

by Olivia Prince


Dear Olivia,

I’m a renter and pay a reasonable rent each month. My landlord pays for all my utilities as well. I find it hard to believe that buying a home could be cheaper. Am I missing something?

Renter For Life

On the surface, renting a home might seem cheaper than owning. Like you said, your landlord pays all the utilities which is a huge savings for you. Additionally, if a pipe bursts or the air conditioning goes out, your landlord has to fix it, not you.

But if you dig a little deeper, you begin to understand why renting isn’t as cheap as it first looks.

For starters, there’s no guarantees that next month your rent won’t go up. And if you rent for long enough, you might find that what you pay a couple of years down the road is significantly more than what you pay now.

When you own a home, though, you can get a fixed monthly payment so you know exactly what your housing expenses are from month to month, year to year. That definitely helps in budgeting and planning for your future!

Speaking of your future, if you rent, you’re not building any equity in the property whatsoever. This is actually the biggest hidden cost of renting because it’s more of what you miss out on rather than what you actually pay.

For example, if you rent a home for five years, the home will most likely be worth more at the end of that five-year period than it was at the start. That’s great for your landlord, but what do you have to show for it? Conversely, if you buy a home, after that same five-year period, you’re the one with the equity in your property. You can then use that equity for all sorts of purposes - getting rid of private mortgage insurance sooner, using it to make home improvements, use it to consolidate other debt, or just creating a higher level of financial security.

Yet another way that buying a home can be cheaper is that there are many financing programs available that require little or no money down. That means you can get into your own home without having to shell out a bunch of money like first and last month’s rent and a security deposit when you’re renting a property.

Furthermore, there are plenty of homes on the market today that are highly affordable - our #PerfectStorm properties being a perfect example. Most of these homes are priced well under $150,000, and with an abundance of financing options, you might just find that a monthly mortgage payment is even less than what you pay in rent.

I know that making the leap from renting to owning is a big one - I certainly found it nerve-wracking when I bought my first home. But the financial benefits to be had in the long run certainly make it a wise move!

If you have any other questions about renting or buying, don’t hesitate to stop by my office at 309 N Broadway in Riverton or call 307-856-3999!

Ask O: What is a Pre-Qualification Letter?

by Olivia Prince

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Dear Olivia,

I want to start the process of looking for my first home, but I don’t have a pre-qualification letter. I’ve heard you need one - is this true? If so, how do I get one?

Sincerely,
Unqualified

Pre-Qualification, Defined

Let’s start with what a pre-qualification letter actually is.

A pre-qual letter is from the lender and states that based on information that you have given them that they think you will likely qualify to borrow money from them for a home purchase.  

This letter is not a guarantee that you’ll get financing, but when attached to an offer, it shows the prospective seller that you have talked to the bank, and it looks like you are a serious prospect.  At a minimum, the lender has looked at your assets, debts, and income, and likely pulled your credit score as well.

It is not a requirement to have a pre-qual letter to put in an offer or shop for a home, but we highly recommend it because it puts you in a stronger position to negotiate as well as helping to be sure you are shopping in a price bracket that works well for you.

Some pre-qual letters have a higher value than others, as some lenders will pull your credit score and review additional documentation before writing the letter. Our local lenders are usually pretty confident you will qualify for the home loan at the time they write the pre-qual letter. However, ultimately, it will still be a matter of final verification, appraisal, and other requirements.

Pre-Approval, Defined

A pre-approval letter is a stronger document, but often a little tougher to come by prior to having a home under contract. At the time a pre-approval letter is written, the lender has typically already verified all of your financial information as well as your credit and job history.  

We highly recommend you talk with your lender and get at least a pre-qual letter before you start home shopping. Doing so can help you avoid a lot of heartache and help us to look for the right homes that fit your budget!

~Olivia

Ask O: How Can I Find the Best Bargain?

by Olivia Prince

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Dear Olivia,

I’m in the market to buy a home. What can I do to find the best bargain?

Sincerely,
Looking for a Deal

This is a great question, and one that applies to every buyer at every price point! Even buyers that have a budget of millions of dollars want to feel as though they’re getting a deal, so it’s only natural for the rest of us to want a good deal, too!

To help you stretch your budget, I’ve put together three of my favorite budget-friendly home buying tips.

Look for “Price Reduced”

Whenever I have a seller that wants to lower their asking price, I push out social media posts and other marketing that says “Price Reduced.” Other Realtors do the same.

If you’re looking for a home and want a bargain, keep your eye out for these kind of posts because it indicates a reduction that will keep that money in your pocket.

Price reductions happen all the time, and can range from a couple of thousand dollars on up. And here’s a bonus tip - if the price has been reduced, you might be able to negotiate an even lower price as price reductions can be a sign that the seller is ready to deal.

Make a Big Down Payment

I know it isn’t in the cards for everyone to plop down a 20 percent down payment when buying a house. But if you can swing it, it will save you big bucks.

The reason why 20 percent is the ideal number is because it helps you avoid Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. Though PMI is only a fraction of your monthly mortgage payment, saving even $50 a month can really add up over the course of several years! You can put that savings toward paying off your mortgage faster, put it into a savings account, save up for your kid’s college, and so forth.

Look for Ugly Homes

The fact of the matter is that an ugly home just doesn’t sell as fast as one that’s been freshly updated. They don’t sell for as much money, either!

But ugly homes can still have potential, and if it’s just in need of cosmetic updates, you can bring it into the 21st century without spending a ton of money. In fact, fresh paint and new flooring will go a long way in updating just about any home.

Talk to your Realtor and ask them to show you some fixer upper-type properties. But beware - look for homes that are in good neighborhoods and don’t need massive renovations. If the home needs a new roof, has a cracked foundation, or some other big-ticket repair needed, be sure to account for that when you write your offer.

Abiding by these suggestions can help you save thousands of dollars when you decide to buy a home. If you want even more home buying tips, be sure to stop by my office at 309 N Broadway in Riverton so we can chat!

~Olivia

Want to Buy a Home? This is Your First Step…

by Olivia Prince

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I get asked all the time by first-time homebuyers where to begin the process of purchasing a home.

 

Many of them are often surprised by my response - get pre-approved for a loan.

 

It seems that for many prospective buyers, they think that getting approval for funds is something that happens later rather that sooner, when it’s the exact opposite that should occur.

 

There are plenty of reasons why you should get pre-approval for a mortgage from a lender before you do anything else.

It Helps You Define Your Budget

It’s fun to dream about all the things you might be able to afford in your new home, but dreaming about what you can afford and actually being able to afford it are two different things.

 

A pre-qualification helps you determine just how much house you can afford. And with that knowledge, you and your Realtor can work together to identify homes that will fit within that budget.

 

After all, there’s not much point in looking at $300,000 homes when you can only afford a $200,000 mortgage.

There Might Be Competition

In our area, we currently have quite a bit of inventory, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to compete with other buyers for the house that you want to buy.

 

With pre-approval from a lender, you immediately have a leg up on other potential buyers because the sellers know that you’re (1) serious about buying a home, and, (2) have the ability to come up with the funding needed to buy it.

 

That’s the kind of peace of mind sellers want, and that’s what will help you get the home you want instead of someone else swooping in and snatching your dream home out from under you!

It’s Simple

Getting pre-approved for a loan is much simpler process that a lot of potential homebuyers think.

 

If you have a Realtor, they can recommend local lenders that can work with you on a home loan that takes into account your personal circumstances.

 

Now, getting pre-qualified does not mean you’re getting a mortgage, so there’s no commitment. You just need to give the lender some details about your credit history, debt load, savings, work history, and residential history.

 

From there, the lender will use that information to determine how much you can reasonably borrow. That amount is determined by a variety of factors:

 

  1. Your ability to make payments on the loan, both now and in the future

  2. Your liquid assets that are accessible to pay the loan should you lose your job or otherwise see a reduction in your income

  3. The type of home you wish to purchase

  4. Your credit history

Final Thoughts

Buying a home can be a bit of a scary process, but if you approach things the right way - hiring a real estate professional to guide you through the steps and working with a local lender to get pre-qualified for a home loan - believe me when I say that the process will go much more smoothly!

 

You’ll likely also find that you’ve overestimated how complicated it is to get pre-qualified. And you’ve probably also overestimated how much money you need on hand and the credit score you need to qualify for a home loan.

 

Don’t wait until the last minute to dive into the financial aspects of buying a home. Get pre-qualified and start your home search the right way!

Ask O: What Can I Do To Help Sell My Home Faster?

by Olivia Prince

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Dear Olivia,

 

I’ll be listing my home for sale in the next couple of months. I’m wondering what I can do now and once my home is listed to help get it sold faster?

 

Sincerely,

Needs a Bigger Home

 

When it comes to getting your home sold quicker, there are actually a lot of things you can do to make that a faster, simpler process.

 

Here are my top three tips for making a quick sale of your home.

Understand Your Competition

It’s necessary for you to be aware of what you’re up against in terms of comparable homes that are for sale.

 

Your Realtor should provide you with details regarding what the market is like, including the number of homes currently on the market in a similar price range.

 

This allows you to have a bit of a reality check. We tend to view our homes as more valuable than they might be, simply because it’s our home and our memories there are very important to us.

 

However, buyers aren’t privy to your memories in that home; all they see is the home itself, so you need to be sure that yours is better than the other homes in your price range.

 

That means cleaning inside and out, decluttering, and staging your home to make the best first impression possible!

Do Your Part to Promote It

Your Realtor should present you with a comprehensive marketing plan to get the word out about your house.

 

But in this day and age in which the vast majority of buyers start their search online, it’s easy to do your part to promote your house even further.

 

For example, your Realtor should post things about your home on social media. All you need to do is like and share those posts so your followers - who might not follow your Realtor - can see that your home is for sale.

 

Think about it - if you have 150 friends on Facebook and you share a post from your Realtor’s Facebook page, that’s 150 more sets of eyes that get to see all the great things about your home!

 

I’d recommend sticking to reposting what your Realtor posts rather than creating your own, though. Your Realtor will have a specific marketing plan, and you don’t want to send potentially conflicting messages by sharing your own posts about your home.

Listen

Sometimes as a seller you have to listen to things you don’t want to hear. That’s not your Realtor being mean, it’s just them doing their best to get your home sold.

 

If you have an open house and a lot of comments are that your home is dated, try not to be offended, and instead use that information to improve your home. If your home is on the market for a long time and your Realtor suggests a price reduction, take that information in stride and work with them to come to an agreeable price reduction.

 

The point is that if you’ve done your due diligence and hired a reputable, trustworthy Realtor, they will work tirelessly to get your home sold for a price that’s acceptable to you. Trust the process, listen to what your Realtor has to say, and your home will get sold faster!

 

~Olivia

To Rent or To Sell? Which Option is Best For You?

by Olivia Prince

Years ago, my husband and I bought our first house in Riverton.
 

That house is now a rental property.
 

We decided at the get-go that we would hold onto that house so we could use it to supplement our incomes later on.
 

That was a great decision for us, but hanging onto a house for rental income isn’t the best move for everyone.
 

That being said, there are pros and cons to each side. Let’s look at a few questions you should consider when trying to decide if you’ll rent your home or sell it.

Can You Afford It?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether or not you can afford two mortgage payments. This is important for three reasons.

 

First, if you can’t find a tenant, you will need to cover your rental property mortgage and the mortgage payment for your new home. If you can’t handle that for several months, it’s not a good idea to keep your first home as a rental.

 

Second, you might find that what you can charge for rent doesn’t cover what you owe each month for the mortgage payment. As time goes by and your balance is paid down (and rental rates presumably go up), that will likely balance itself out. However, if you don’t have $100 or $200 (more or less, depending on the situation) to cover the shortfall, again, keeping your first home as a rental property is not a good idea.

 

Third, and perhaps the biggest factor, is whether or not you’ll need two mortgages - one for your new home and one for the rental home. You might find that if you’ve lived in the first home long enough that you have enough equity in the home that you can pay off the remaining balance. If that’s not the case, talking with your lender about what you can safely manage in terms of two monthly mortgage payments is the way to go.

What are the Market Conditions?

 

A crucial aspect of your decision to rent or sell your home is what the market is currently like.

 

The market in Fremont County has been a little depressed since the downturn in the economy, which would mean that hanging onto a home and renting it out would be beneficial for a number of homeowners. We are still selling quite a few houses, though, with more under contract seemingly every week, which is encouraging in that the market might just be on the rebound.

 

If you got a good deal on your home or you’ve lived there for some time and owe far less than what your Realtor suggests you can sell if for, it might behoove you to pull the trigger and go ahead and sell the property.

 

On the other hand, if you haven’t paid much of your mortgage debt off, keeping the property as a rental and waiting for it to appreciate might be a better solution for you.

 

If you’re not sure where you fall on this spectrum, talking to a Realtor will help you understand the current market conditions in our area, including what homes like yours have sold for in the recent past.

Who Will Take Care of the Rental?

It’s one thing to be able to afford having a rental, but it’s another thing entirely to have the time needed to tend to all the tasks related to being a landlord.

 

From marketing the home to interviewing potential tenants to upkeep and maintenance, there’s a lot to be done as a landlord.

 

Throw in complaints about your tenants from neighbors, chasing down late rent, and the unfortunate task of evicting tenants, and you’ve got a handful of duties that will quickly eat up what free time you have on nights and weekends.

 

For many people, the responsibility of fixing a broken furnace in the middle of the night or having to repair damage after you’ve had to kick a tenant out is enough to scare them away from becoming a landlord.

 

But, if the money is there and it’s a sound investment for you, you can hire a property management service to handle all the nitty-gritty details so you don’t have to. In fact, Wind River Realty offers this service to many rental property owners in the area for a small fee.

 

So, your decision to rent out your home or sell it really just comes down to economics. If you can afford the time and money that is involved with being a landlord, it could prove to be a lucrative investment. If you’ve built up equity in your home and the market values it highly, you might gain more by selling.

 

To make the best decision for you, seek out the advice of professionals like your lender and Realtor. With their guidance, you can make an informed decision that will benefit you, your family, and your future!

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Wintertime isn’t the most popular time of year to sell a home, especially here in Wyoming. The short days and bitter cold tend to make people not want to go house hunting!

But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any buyers.

If your home is on the market, you need to do everything in your power to ensure your open houses go off without a hitch.

Here are a few mistakes you’ll need to avoid if you’re to help your Realtor sell your home during the winter months.

Mistake #1: Not Giving Visitors a Place to Park Their Stuff

When people visit your home in the middle of Wyoming’s winter, they’ll have heavy coats, shoes, gloves, hats, and the like that they won’t want to wear or carry around your house. Shoes will probably be wet from snow, and you definitely don’t want water, ice, and mud to be tracked all over your house.

The solution? Give people a place to leave their things. Put a bench in the entryway so visitors can remove their shoes, and place a “please remove your shoes” sign nearby, so they’re sure to not leave footprints throughout the house. Add a few coat hooks near the front door, or add a coat rack so there’s a convenient place to hang coats and hats as well. Place a large rug in the entryway to catch any snow or ice that might fall from people’s clothing as well.

Mistake #2: Not Keeping the Lights On

 

When people visit your home, they want to see something that’s open and bright, not dark and cavelike.

That means that in the winter, you’ll need to turn on just about every light inside and outside your home - even in the daytime - that way when your Realtor shows the house, potential buyers will be able to see every nook and cranny of the property.

In fact, lighting is one of the most important factors when showing a home. But in the dark depths of a Wyoming winter, having the spaces in your home nice and bright will be extra appreciated!

This includes a room-by-room examination of the lighting level. If a room seems dark, add a lamp or get brighter bulbs for existing features. Don’t let the darkness of winter creep into your home, or else you might find that buyers aren’t so keen on submitting an offer.

Mistake #3: Turning Up the Heat

It might seem counterintuitive to keep your house cool on open house day in the winter, but consider this: visitors will be coming in from the cold, and if you’ve cranked the furnace up to 78 degrees, your home will feel like an oven.

A blast of hot air as they walk in the house - covered with winter clothes, no less - will not leave a good first impression.

Instead, knock the thermostat down a few clicks and ensure that your home is in the 66-68 degree range. That will make it warm enough so that visitors aren’t overwhelmed by heat when they walk in, but the house will still be warm enough that after touring the property visitors won’t be wondering if the furnace works or not.

The next time your Realtor has a private showing or an open house, be sure to follow these tips, and you’ll reap the rewards of an improved open house experience for potential buyers!

 

Want a Lower Mortgage Payment? Here’s How!

by Olivia Prince

CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

 

Let’s face it - owning a home is a great accomplishment and one in which you can take great pride. Home ownership can also be scary for many reasons. But at the top of that list for many people is the notion of having to dole out hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month for a mortgage payment.

 

If you’ve already bought a home and find that you’re barely scraping by, there are a few things you can do to get the lowest mortgage rate possible. It’s really just a matter of time and patience on your part. Here’s what I mean…

Try Refinancing

With interest rates that continue to be at or near historic lows, it makes sense for current homeowners to refinance and get a better interest rate. After all, the lower your interest rate, the lower your payments (and the more money you will save over time too).

 

For example, assume you bought a house five years ago and took out a $200,000 fixed-rate loan at 5% interest. Between principal, interest, taxes, and insurance, the monthly payment would be $1,511.98. However, if you refinanced the loan at 3.5% interest, the payment would drop to $1,336.42. That’s a monthly savings of $175.56 and a savings of $66,289.40 over the life of the loan. That’s not too shabby!

Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required by most lenders to protect their investment in cases in which the borrower’s down payment is less than 20% of the value of the home. For most of us, putting 20% down on the biggest purchase of our lives just isn’t a possibility, so lots of us have the added monthly expense of PMI.

 

For example, using the same $200,000 loan at 3.5% interest we used above, with a zero down payment, your PMI would be $171.67 per month, assuming the PMI rate is 1.03%. That’s a pretty big addition to your monthly expenses! The question is, how do you eliminate the PMI requirement?

 

As noted above, you can put down 20% to avoid PMI altogether, but that’s not in the cards for a lot of homebuyers. Another option is to make additional payments each month so you reach the 20% mark faster, but the same problem applies - many of us just don’t have the funds to do so.

 

A third, and far easier option, is to use the appreciation of your home to reach the 20% threshold. Your home stands to appreciate over time, meaning its value will go up as compared to what you paid for it. Assuming that you’ve owned the property for at least two years, you can get an appraisal to determine the current value of your home and hope that it puts you over the 20% mark so you can do away with PMI. Of course, making improvements to your home can help in that process too.

Combine Both

If you want to really accelerate your ability to get a lower mortgage rate, you can simply combine the two tips above. By refinancing and using the value your home has gained over the years, it’s essentially a double whammy. Your monthly payment will go down as a result of your new refinanced rate, and without PMI added in there, you’ll save even more!

 

So, on our sample $200,000 loan, by refinancing we can save $175.56 each month. If the home has appreciated over the years, say from $200,000 to $245,000, due to market conditions and improvements to the property, the amount you owe would be less than 80% of the home’s value, so your PMI could be removed for an additional savings of $171.67. That means a total monthly savings of $347.23! That means you can have a lot more financial breathing room each month. Who doesn’t want that?!

 

When it comes down to it, there are many avenues you can use to lower the cost of owning your own home. It’s simply a matter of making smart financial decisions like refinancing and having the patience to see your property appreciate over time. If you can do those two things, lower mortgage payments might just be within reach!

Home Buying Tips for the #PerfectStorm

by Olivia Prince


Although summer is usually the busiest time of year for real estate, fall is quickly becoming the “it” time to buy.
 

But why is that?

 

For homebuyers in Fremont County, there are plenty of factors that are working in your favor, something I like to call a #PerfectStorm. For starters, interest rates on mortgages are still super low compared to historical norms, especially if you have good credit. Combined with a good amount of inventory in Riverton, Lander, and other communities in the county, there’s a good selection for buyers to choose from. Even better, because there is so much selection, that means that we’re trending toward a buyer’s market, which gives homebuyers a little more power at the negotiating table. That means you might be able to get a better deal on the home of your choice!

 

Even better, this #PerfectStorm means that in some cases, you might be able to buy a home and pay less each month for your mortgage than you currently do for rent. What’s not to like about that?!

 

But before you start looking for a home, there are a few things you need to do first…

Check Your Credit


 

One of the most important aspects of your finances when it comes to getting a home loan is your credit score. As a result, you need to get a copy of your credit report (which you can get for free from AnnualCreditReport.com) and inspect it thoroughly for mistakes. If you have unpaid accounts or accounts in collections, take care of those things right away. If your credit balances are high relative to your available credit, you’ll need to pay off some of those debts to get a better credit score. A good target for first-time homebuyers is to have a credit utilization of less than 30 percent.

 

Though checking your credit is quick and simple, repairing your credit is not. If your score isn’t that great, you’ll need time to fix it. Don’t be deterred though! Even with a less-than-desirable credit score, you might still qualify for financing depending on the lender and the loan program you select.

Get Organized

In addition to getting your credit in order, you’ll need to organize some critical financial documents that are necessary to apply for home financing. You will need to document both your income and your taxes, which can be done in various ways. Most mortgage lenders will ask for your most recent pay stubs to prove your current income, as well as the previous two years’ W-2 forms. Typically, tax returns from the last couple of years and several months worth of bank statements are requested too.

 

When examining these documents mortgage lenders are looking to see if the income you say you have is accurate. They also want to see if you’ve had any instances of insufficient funds or if there have been odd amounts of money coming in and out. For example, taking out a loan to pay off a credit card, though probably a sound decision, will raise a red flag because of the influx of money coming into your account from the loan (and the large payment out to the credit card company as well).

Do Your Homework

 

After checking your credit and getting your financial documents in order, go one step further and research just how much home you can afford. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio using a mortgage calculator that factors in things like insurance, down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. Depending on the lender, you’ll need to have a debt-to-income ratio of anywhere from 28 percent to 45 percent. Knowing your approximate ratio before contacting lenders is helpful in case you aren’t quite there yet and need a little more time to pay down debt.

 

Additionally, working out sample mortgage payments is helpful for creating a budget for when you’re a homeowner. It’s easy to forget that once you own your home, you’ll be paying for things like water, sewer services, trash collection, electricity, internet, and other utilities. There’s also one-time purchases like appliances or furniture to think about. Though you might think you can afford a $1,500/month mortgage payment, once all the other expenses are added in, you might find that the amount you can comfortably afford is much less.

 

Part of buying a home is simply being prepared to do so. By following these tips, you’ll be better positioned to buy a home because you’ll have your credit in order, your financial documents organized, and a good idea of the type of budget you can handle. If you need more details about buying a home or want to explore some #PerfectStorm properties, don’t hesitate to drop by my office at 309 N Broadway in Riverton or call me at 307-856-3999!

Renting vs. Owning: 3 Things Renters Need to Know

by Olivia Prince

CC BY-SA 3.0 NY

 

Owning a home is an integral part of the American Dream. During the Great Recession a few years ago, many homeowners lost that dream, and many renters who hadn’t yet been able to purchase the home of their dreams found themselves unable to afford it.

 

Not now!

 

The housing market has changed drastically over the last few years. In Fremont County, we’ve even got a #PerfectStorm that’s making homeownership a reality for many people, first-time homebuyers included. Interest rates are at historic lows, making mortgages more affordable than in the past. In Riverton, Lander, and other communities in Fremont County, there is a lot of inventory to choose from as well, meaning you might have better luck finding the home you’ve always wanted. Add to that the fact that renting in our area is quite expensive - for some people even more expensive than owning a home - it’s a great time to buy!

 

But if you’ve never owned a home, there are some things you need to be aware of...

Your Finances Will Change

When you rent, the chances are that you send one check to the landlord without really seeing where that money goes. The landlord pays the mortgage, the taxes, and perhaps even the utilities. That changes when you own the home; you get to see exactly where your money is going and exactly how much each expense really is.

 

It can be a shock to first-time homebuyers just how much “extra” money is involved in owning a home. Beyond the mortgage payment, which in itself includes the principal, interest, and maybe mortgage insurance as well, there’s water, sewer, trash, electricity or gas, cable, and internet expenses, just to name a few. The list of monthly bills can grow very quickly when you transition from renting to buying, but establishing a monthly budget to account for all those expenses will help you keep on track.

Your Mindset Will Change

When you’re a renter and something goes wrong - a pipe bursts or the dryer goes out - your landlord is responsible for addressing those issues. When you own your own home, however, those sorts of things are all on you. And that’s just the start of it! Unless you have a homeowner’s association that takes care of things like mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow, you’ll be responsible for those things as well.

 

This isn’t to say that you have to personally take care of every single thing that breaks or needs attention on your property. Part of being a homeowner is being knowledgeable about how to fix some issues, but also knowing who to call when larger issues arise. We’re fortunate in that we have a community full of resources for homeowners available to us in Fremont County, from plumbers to contractors to lawn care providers, that can help us keep our homes in top-notch condition.

Your Neighbors Become Much More Important

When you’re renting, it’s nice to have neighbors that are friendly, helpful, and most of all, quiet! A benefit of renting is that if you’ve got neighbors that are unruly or are otherwise bothering you, you’ve got your landlord to talk to about the issue.

 

When you own your home, you’re obviously in it for the long haul, so it’s imperative that you consider who your neighbors will be. This is important for two primary reasons. First, having a good relationship with your neighbors means that you start to build connections within your neighborhood, which will make owning your home a much more pleasant and rewarding experience.

 

Second, your neighbors can greatly impact the value of your home. For example, if your neighbor doesn’t tend to their lawn and their home looks shabby, the value of your home might decrease as a result. It goes back to the old real estate adage of “location, location, location.” No one wants to live next to a dump, so when looking for a home to purchase, don’t just look at the home, look at the other homes on the street too.

Final Thoughts

It’s a big step going from renting to owning, but one that has many benefits. There’s just something about having your own space that makes life a little bit sweeter. And, building equity in something you own rather than giving your hard-earned money to a landlord is pretty great too!

 

If you’re looking to buy a home, consider that there’s a #PerfectStorm in Fremont County real estate right now that might make your homeownership dreams come true. Now might just be the ideal time for you to make that leap and find a home of your own. If you have any questions about homeownership, don’t hesitate to contact me at 307-856-3999 or drop by my office at 309 N Broadway in Riverton.


~ Olivia

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