I look at this photo above and just laugh because that is a pretty accurate portrayal of how I’ve felt since we moved to Nixa,MO -buried under a pile of boxes and to do lists. Its been about 6 weeks now since we moved into our new home. I wanted to share with you some of our experience in going from renting to buying. Its very exciting to finally become homeowners of course but there are a few things I thought may help some of you who are like me who have been doing the apartment/condo life since you got out of college. If you’re asking yourself “Should I buy or rent?”, here’s 3 Helpful Tips When Going From Renting to Buying.
Renting To Buying Tip #1: Save For A Rainy Day
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund in place. Beyond the expected down payment and closing costs that you will account for in acquiring your new home, there will always be the unexpected costs that can and will come up very quickly when you go from renting to buying. For instance, a tree falling on your house a week after closing….that’s right. See photo below:
Here we are, on my birthday no less. This is a Bradford Pear Tree. They are notorious, apparently, for splitting. Which I knew nothing about trees so, quick tip, when inspecting a home built in the 90’s chances are it may have a Bradford Pear. Be aware of the outside of your potential home and not just the inside. Luckily, the damage was pretty minimal considering. We were very concerned though about the integrity of the rest of the tree. Plus, it was growing up into the phone and cable lines running through the backyard. We called city of Nixa and thankfully, they offered to remove the rest of the tree which I was happy to oblige and saved us a ton! All in all it ended up costing us just under $1,000.00. So, when going from renting to buying make sure you leave some room in your savings account for instances like this. That way if an emergency does come up, its just an inconvenience and not a crisis.
Renting To Buying Tip #2: Save For The Big Necessities
Once we got moved in there was a pile of things we suddenly found ourselves in need of. We needed a washer and dryer. We spent weeks on Facebook marketplace looking for deals on used appliances. And ultimately ended getting a used pair from Cooks Appliances in Nixa. However, we ran into some issues with the dryer. It was very loud and would shut randomly after 5 minutes. We did have a warranty, thankfully, and they did come to replace the motor. But we also noticed the washer had a horrific odor when we ran a cycle. Cooks claims they do clean the appliances before shipping them out. Which we’ve come to find out simply involves running a cleaning detergent a few times in the drum. They were reluctant to pursue the problem any further so we may just have to take the whole thing apart and see what lies within. The next big thing was a lawn mower. I hadn’t mowed a lawn in almost 20 years. I’ve always lived in condos so all my outside maintenance was taken care of. When going from renting to buying you suddenly realize how spoiled you’ve been. Luckily, our aunt had one we could borrow for a season till we were able to save up to get our own.
Renting To Buying Tip #3: Don’t Get Homeowner Fever
The last big thing we realized we needed was furniture for the den. We had all this space and house full of family coming for a housewarming party and nowhere to sit! LOL We had gotten Homeowner Fever. This is where all those years of renting and watching Fixer Upper and saving thousands of pins to your “dream home” Pinterest board are starting to become reality. You are king (or queen) of this new castle and you’re making trips every weekend to Home Depot and Target. Which, by the way, I have discovered, as a homeowner, it is next to impossible to leave Home Depot without dropping $100 minimum. I go in to get some light bulbs and some paint and leave with a weedeater, and a hammer, and “oh look! A ladder, I need that for painting”, and “there’s an extension cord for my weedeater”. Before we knew it we wound up at Furniture Factory Outlet in Springfield doing exactly what we said we weren’t going to do and that was to open up more credit. But once we had walked in and seen the furniture, and laid on the sofa, we had convinced ourselves we needed it. Our son needed a new bed. And we needed to get a rug to match the sleeper sofa and love seat. We had homeowner fever bad. A few days later we’re at Lowe’s picking out custom blinds and dropping another $1,200.00. All of this to say it is extremely easy to get carried away with the thrill of owning a new home and fulfilling all your hopes and dreams and desires for this new place you’re finally able to call your own. When weighing out the pros and cons of buying vs. renting look at your long term financial goals and not just your short term. Make sure when you’re ready to go from renting to buying you plan financially for it so your new home is a blessing and not a burden.