You’ve saved up your cash, found a real estate agent, and started your home search. What’s next? Here are a few tips for making a smooth transition from renter to homeowner. 

Timing is key

Nationwide, the average closing period on a home is about 50 days from the time you make an offer. Consider beginning your search about three months before your lease ends to allow yourself time to find the right place and go through the closing process. If your lease ends before your closing date, you can ask for a month-to-month extension or make arrangements to stay with a friend or family member until move-in. If your closing date comes before your lease ends, you can offer the sellers a lease-back agreement. You’ll own the home, and they’ll pay you rent to stay in it until an agreed-upon date. 

Prepare for the unexpected

You can save yourself some major headaches later by setting aside a little extra for small repairs or updates that you discover as you live in your new home. Maybe that ceiling fan is a little wobbly when you set it on the highest speed, or you need to add an accessibility ramp on the back deck for when your parents come to visit. Having a fund specifically for these projects will help you avoid added stress. 

Make a maintenance plan

As a renter, you called your landlord when that bathroom sink sprung a leak or your washer was making a funny noise. Now, maintenance and repairs are your responsibility, and it can be hard to know where to begin. Use your resources to make a plan for taking care of your new purchase. Ask your neighbors or check sites like Angie’s List for recommendations for a handyman, plumber, electrician, and HVAC specialist in your area. Use apps like BrightNest to make a maintenance task list and schedule reminders to do things like change your air filters. 

The decision to buy a home is a big one, but with a solid game plan, it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re ready to get started, contact an Open Mortgage loan specialist today. 

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