By Mike Bennett, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer
Moving out of your parents’ home is another line item on the list of adult firsts. It is a rite of passage signifying independence and maturity, but sprinkled with a big dose of reality. Like any important decision, weigh the pros and cons before doing anything in haste. If you decide to move on, be prepared for what’s in store.
Depending on your financial situation, career path and life goals, determine if you want to rent or buy. If you think you are ready to buy a house or condo, you will need to qualify for a mortgage and find a suitable property that you can afford. Make alliances with a trusted banker and a savvy real estate agent who can guide you through the process. If renting is the way to go, search for the right neighborhood at the right price. Decide if you are ready to go solo or if sharing expenses with a roommate makes more financial sense. Either way, map out a budget of monthly expenses before signing on any dotted lines. Buying a home is the best route for an investment and there are plenty of options for first time homebuyers to help with all budgets. It’s important to speak with a trusted and experienced loan officer about your financial needs and goals.
Moving to a new place is awesome, but there’s a laundry list of items you need to furnish it. Furniture, linens, cooking utensils, small appliances and decorative items all combine to make a house a home. Make a prioritized list and start accumulating items prior to the move. Put out the word and gather cast-offs and donations from well-meaning friends and family. Scour yard sales and consignment shops for bargains. Encourage friends to throw you a house-warming party. Once you have the basics and settle in, you can work on the lower-priority list items. A new place is always a work in progress, so be patient but prepared.
You may have been able to live on a shoestring in your parents’ home, but not so when you move out on your own. Start accruing a nest egg well before you make the move. Having three months’ worth of savings is important before striking out on your own. Living from paycheck to paycheck sets you up for future financial disaster; be sure your new monthly budget allows for regular deposits into savings accounts and retirement funds. Set a budget and live by it.
Credit is key when borrowing any kind of loan. It’s important to understand how credit works and how it will affect you’re financing. The better the credit the better the financing terms. A mortgage loan officer will be able to pull your credit and council you in regards to what programs are available and if nothing fits your needs they can assist in advice on how to work towards your goal of good credit and buying a home in the future
Enjoy the process and the journey. Moving into your first home is an exciting time. Congratulations! This newfound freedom was certainly worth every tedious step along the way.