Should I buy or rent a home? Get started with three easy steps

Are you contemplating renting an apartment, condo, townhome, or house? It’s important to weigh your options and consider buying a home before signing a lease. Many people say they aren’t ready to own a home; they’re not sure where to live; or they are not ready to settle down in a particular area. Everyone needs a place to live, so try these steps to help you in your decision.

Benefits of owning a home

BUILD EQUITY: When purchasing a home, it doesn’t have to be your forever home. It’s a chance for you to build equity for yourself instead of throwing money out the window by renting. If you are going to live somewhere for only two years, it’s probably worth renting. But if you plan on living somewhere more than two and a half years, buying is a better investment because when you sell, you won’t pay capital gains’ tax. Capital gains is tax on the profit from a sale.

If you don’t want to maintain a yard, consider purchasing a townhome or a home with an association that maintains the exterior of the home, the lawns, and plows driveways in the winter.

WRITE OFFS: When owning a home, you can write off your property taxes, the insurance that you pay if you pay less than 20% down, and the interest from your loan.

Get started with these 3 steps

  1. Call a mortgage loan officer and get preapproved. A good loan officer will review your credit, guide you on ways to improve your credit score, and find the best kind of loan for you. They may have tools to decrease your monthly payments. Depending on your credit score, they may advise you to wait to purchase. The better your credit score, the better rate you will receive.
  2. Identify the approximate area you’d like to live in and consider what is most important to you. Do you want to live close to your work? Do you want to be in a certain school district? Do you want to live on a lake? Are there park and ride locations nearby to assist in your commute? Do you want to be near shopping and restaurants or in a a quieter suburban area?
  3. Contact a realtor and meet with them to discuss what they can do for you. Good realtors will not pressure you to sign anything and will explain how they can help you. When you purchase a home, the commission is paid by the seller so having a realtor when you purchase a home doesn’t cost you anything. Why not have someone protect you and look out for you?

Be careful when on lead-generating websites: You may think you can look on your own, but many websites are lead-generating, which means they are linking you to a realtor who pays a fee. When you click on “contact realtor” on one of those sites, you are contacting a realtor that is paying for the lead and may not know anything about the home you are asking about. Often, these sites list homes that have already been sold.

Realtor teams: Sometimes you may contact a realtor and you may not ever get a chance to work with the realtor that you wanted. They may refer you to a team member to assist in your search and process of buying a home. Look for a realtor that has good reviews and recommendations, someone who will answer their phone when you call and when you want to see a home in a timely manner. Mortenson Realty Group is a husband and wife team that provides care and personalized service for each sale. They walk you through the steps of buying or selling a home and they take the time to build relationships with their clients because buying a home is one of the most important things you will do in your lifetime. Contact us via email, text, or phone to discuss your next steps. We strive hard to give our clients the best service possible. #mortensonrealtygroup #findarealtor #greatermidwestrealty #greatrealtorteams #shouldibuyahouse #rentversusown

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