Most of us here at Income Property Advisors know a lot about home ownership even if only some of us have made the move into owning our own home. We are a company specializing in management of both residential and commercial property. We also are licensed residential and commercial agents and brokers and on top of all of that we are a company that does a lot of construction and contracting work.
Even so, for one of our employees there were some learning curves along the way. Here are somethings to know before you make the move into homeownership from someone that’s not only been there but is a professional in the industry:
Repairs are on your dime and your time:
If only my tenants realized the complications that come with a lot of seemingly basic repairs or on the flip side how simple it is to do some basic repairs on your own. As a homeowner you learn the difference between these two categories, and you learn them fast. No longer can you submit a request to your property manager to have a repair done, now you must do it yourself or find someone that can. And you must make time to meet that person and go over pricing. On a side note, I am not advocating for my tenants to become MacGyver and fix things themselves. Please submit the maintenance request.
You might find your neighbors to be more interested you:
Apartments tend to be more transient. People sign year leases, month to month leases, they might move-in and move-out without you even getting their name. Of course, this is not the case for everyone but as a homeowner you are likely to meet neighbors that have been in the area for a long time. This means they might stop by when they see your moving truck or invite you over for coffee. I must admit after spending most of my adult life as a renter in areas that renters far exceeded homeowners, the interest people take in closer nit communities was an adjustment. There is a loss of anonymity when you own but there is also a sense of community and that has a ton of value.
Your location might be your biggest sacrifice:
Have you ever heard that saying “Location, location, location” describing the 3 most important things when buying Real Estate? Well it holds a lot of truth, but when you think about owning a home you must consider more than just location. You must consider price, size, maybe school district. I miss the days when I didn’t have to get in my car to go to the grocery store, but home ownership in our most desired location in San Diego means a higher price point that is becoming harder and harder to obtain for most new buyers.
The process to buy a home can be scrupulous:
To become a renter, you often must do two things, show proof of income and have decent credit. To qualify for a long loan, the best loan you can get that is, you will need to show excellent credit, tax returns, pay stubs and a lot of other documentation and it can be unrelenting. If you think Facebook knows a lot about you, well you leader might know more by the time your loan is in place.
A commitment with financial repercussions:
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This question might be most often heard in an interview, but you should ask it before buying a house. A lease is often a one-year commitment, a mortgage is often 30 years. Now most people buy and sell homes more frequently than the life of their mortgage but there are tax implications, and financial impacts when you decide to buy a home. You should understand all of these and talk to professionals before you take on such a commitment. If you don’t like the neighborhood you rent in at least you can move relatively easily, not so when you own.
There is a sense of pride in owning a home most people never feel as a renter:
It’s your little space in the world. You can pick out the wall color, fixed up the yard, or decided to splurge on a tankless water heater. These things mean something and as a homeowner these are the decisions are yours and yours alone. That feels pretty good and while sometimes the decisions you must make can seem overwhelming at the end of the day you are the one that makes them.