Have you had thoughts of getting out from an apartment or a rental and being a home owner? When is it a good time to do that? Aren't there risks to being a homeowner? Many people, including myself at one point in time, have had to find out the answers to these questions. From personal experience, not only as a real estate agent but as a new homeowner as well, I can tell you the benefits and the negatives to being a homeowner.
The first question we will cover is when is it a good time for you to buy a home and be a homeowner. There is no definite answer for this question. It comes down to your situation and whether you are ready or not to make that next step. Some people wait until they are able to put at least a 10% down payment once they save up that money. Others take opportunities with loan programs for first time home buyers which covers a majority of your closing costs and down payment. There are also some who save up the cash to pay off the home entirely. There are many options that are available, but it is your choice at the end of the day.
Out of personal experience, I can tell you that being a homeowner isn't easy. If you don't like doing yard work, prepare to have to hire a lawn service that can range between $100 to $200 a month depending on what you need done. If you don't have a home warranty and something breaks in your home, prepare to have to call someone to fix this issue and then pay them for their services. If you are living in a homeowner association, prepare to have to keep your yard and home in tip top shape or else they may fine you. Although these seem like a pain to deal with, there are many perks to being a homeowner as well. Once you close on the home, it is yours! You can modify it, rent it out and make some monthly income, or even do a little bit of work to it and sell it for more than what you bought! You can also use the mortgage payments as a write off on your tax returns, claim homestead tax exemption to reduce your yearly taxes, and once you pay it off you only have to pay for yearly taxes and utilities.
When you are renting a home or an apartment, you are still responsible for the property but instead pay a landlord or a management company. If you end up liking where you are renting and want to renew your lease, you take the risk of having to pay a higher rent since the rates have been going up. If you damage something, you risk of having to pay the damaged item out of pocket. If you want to move to another location but are bound to the lease agreement, you risk of paying an extra fee or even two months worth of rent just to break the agreement. Yes, there is less management when you rent such as not having to take care of the yard, the roof, the AC unit, the appliances, etc. However, none of these things are yours when you move. They will still belong to the landlord or the management and all of the months or years of rent you spent will simply be gone.
Both sides offer their pros and cons. I will not say that you have to be a homeowner and that renting it no good. You have to make the choice if you want to move on from renting and buy a home.
In Jacksonville and nearby areas, I have noticed that the values in neighborhoods have been increasing, as well as mortgage rates. If you have been contemplating whether or not you should buy a home at this time, reach out to me. I will provide an honest answer depending on your situation. I have a passion to help people, even if it has nothing to do with real estate. Some agents will press potential clients into a situation that they may not even be ready to handle just so they can get paid. I did not join this industry to simply make money. I am here to help you.