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How to Stop Renting and become a Homeowner

Are you on the fence about buying your first home or continuing to rent? It’s worth a conversation for sure! There are so many things to consider whenever you are making a large purchase like a home, but especially your first one. If you’ve ever considered swapping out your hefty rent check for a mortgage payment, you’re likely closer than you think to being pre-approved for your first home purchase.

What is the first step? 

Great question, and it depends a little bit on who you know. I recommend starting with who you know and trust. If that is a mortgage lender, give them a call. If it’s a REALTOR in your area, they will be happy to hear from you. Either one of these professionals will have a strong sphere of influence that they can refer you to if you don’t happen to know and trust one or the other. Friends and family may be able to line you up with someone that they loved working within one of those fields as well. Sit down with that person, or people, too! Most (ALL, more likely) lenders and real estate agents will gladly sit down and talk to you about your situations with absolutely no obligations. 

It’s important that you find a good fit for you and your situation! Remember that this is likely the largest financial decision you will be making thus far, and you get to choose who you bring along on that journey. Here are a few questions to ask the professionals in each field: 


  • Are there any loan programs you do not offer?
  • Are you available on weekends if we need a pre-approval letter?
  • Do you have any first time home buyer programs or incentives?
  • What lender fees will I be responsible for at closing?
  • How do you prefer to communicate? 

Real Estate Agent 

  • Are you a full-time agent?
  • Are you available when I am available to schedule showings? 
  • What percentage of your business is working with buyers?
  • Will you be the one showing me houses or will it be one of your associates? 
  • How do you prefer to communicate? 
  • Do you charge a transaction fee? 
  • Do you offer coverage while you’re on vacation? 

Do your homework! Either of these professionals will be happy to provide references. Follow up with references and ask why they would recommend their past lender and/or real estate agent. Check out their reviews on Google, Zillow, Facebook, etc. If you surround yourself with a knowledgeable lender and real estate agent, they will be able to walk you through every other step of the way. 

A few things to think about going into a meeting with one of these professionals: 

  • Monthly payments: What do you want to pay per month, including taxes, insurance, principle, and insurance?
  • Location: How will the location and taxes affect what you can get for your dollar, the commute to work, and the things you do in your free time 
  • What style home are you looking for? What are some of the MUST haves and have-nots? Does your budget allow for these?
  • How handy are you? Do you need something turn-key or do you have the skills and time to take on a fixer-upper?
  • What is your timeframe? How long will your lender need to get your loan finalized?

Ultimately, every person you meet along the way is there to help you, so don’t hold your questions back! Find real estate professionals that you can trust and one way or another, they will help you start the journey to home ownership.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.