For those who occasionally wonder whether or not it’s time to stop being a renter and start owning, it can be difficult to ultimately lead to the decision to drop the landlord and own a home. There won’t be any midnight revelation that says, “Buy Now” or anything remotely similar. Even if the math works out properly that tells someone to quit renting and start looking for a home, there’s not going to be any “Ah-ha!” moment. It just doesn’t work that way. But if you need a few hints, here are some inside tips that will most likely nudge you to start, at least a little, looking at owning instead of buying.
1: You’ve Settled Down. Here’s one sign. You’ve not only found a job you think you’ll be in for a while but also you have decided on an area in which to live. For those just entering the workforce, they’re more likely to move compared to those who have “settled in.” Someone may sign a lease agreement but after a few months gets tired of the neighbor upstairs that plays the music just a little too loud. Or you get tired of paying extra for your own parking space instead of driving around the complex looking for a freebie. The younger class may decide early on to move to not only a different part of town but to a different city or state altogether. Renters have that flexibility. But if that’s pretty much in your rear-view mirror and both your job and your locale are set, it’s probably time to start looking at owning and quit paying your landlord’s mortgage payment.
2: You start getting left behind. This is another sign. You’re at work and more and more co-workers talk about the new house or condo they’ve bought and they can’t wait to move in. They brag, they’re now homeowners instead of renters and they can’t seem to keep quiet about how they’re upgrading the place they just bought, the loan they have and what a good deal they got on their home. They’ll also talk to others about how they should own their own place to live and get out of the rental rat race. At some point, they start to sound like a bona fide real estate agent but they’re really just expressing their happiness of owning. When others at your workplace start to get real estate into your head, it won’t be very long before you begin looking at places to buy.
3: Curiosity. Finally, once you just start looking around for a home to buy, pretty soon the ownership mode takes over your tenant/landlord mode. You start looking at your apartment differently and seeing more things that you’d like to upgrade on your own but know that you’d have to get your landlord or property manager’s permission, which by the way rarely happens. Yes, you can probably get permission to maybe paint the walls on your own but that’s about as far as you can get. New appliances? Tired of the dishwasher constantly breaking down and the toilet that always leaks and the landlord seems to always be at the golf course? When you get to this stage and signs #1 and #2 have already occupied part of your brain, it’s time to start packing.