Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith - Century 21 North Shore / Cape Cod



Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 12/7/2017

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who donít want the responsibilities of homeownership, it can also serve as a longterm lifestyle for those uninterested in equity. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is a difficult question to ask yourself. Youíll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

In todayís post, Iím going to discuss several of these considerations to help you determine if now is the time to buy a home or if you should continue renting for the time being.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of homebuying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.


While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to 4.1%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first homes are more concerned with whether itís  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.

Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, itís a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about a timeline.

First, are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the costs.

Next, would you have better career or education prospects if you were to move elsewhere in a few years?


Of course, these questions are not objective--you may never know for sure which is the best decision. However, having the conversation is vital to moving forward.

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, youíll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that previously your landlord was required to do.

The good news is you can learn most things on YouTube. However, some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has itís associated upkeep expenses.

However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.


Start considering these questions now and in due time youíll have a better understanding of your current and future goals. This way, youíll be able to choose the best possible time to buy a home.




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Posted by Susan Brown & Stephanie Smith on 11/16/2017

American homes have been growing larger for decades. This trend is partly due to personal preference for more space, and partly caused by local laws mandating minimum square-footage of all new properties.

Owning and maintaining a home is a huge expense. Especially if youíre heating and maintaining parts of your home that you donít really need.

As a result, a growing number of people are renting out parts of their home in various ways. From Airbnb to subletting, and all the way up to renting out their basement as a separate apartment, there are a number of ways you can earn money on your home.

The appeal is obvious. However, there are a number of factors you should consider before renting out part of your home. After all, your home is the place you and your family spend your days and nights, and sometimes the idea of having a stranger in your midst can be frightening to some homeowners.

For others, however, welcoming people into their home is a fun way to meet new people, help someone find affordable housing in a place they otherwise wouldnít, and earn some extra money.

Know your local laws

It should be noted up front that not everyone can just legally rent out a portion of their home. Whether it is due to local laws, building code requirements, or homeowners association rules, there are a number of reasons you might not be able to rent out part of your home.

Before you consider listing a room or portion of your home, read up on the landlord-tenant laws in your area to make sure youíre comfortable with your legal obligations.

Make the necessary preparations

Renting a room in your home isnít just a matter of giving someone the key to the front door. Youíll have to plan to install deadbolts, remove doorknobs with inside locking mechanisms, make repairs to the room and any amenities the tenant will have access to and document the state of your home.

Make a clear renterís agreement

Would it make you uncomfortable to have a dog or cat in your home? Does your home have a smoking policy?

There are a number of things you should think about and add to your renterís agreement and any online listing you post. This will help you narrow down your renter options and give you a better chance of finding someone right for your home.

Finding a tenant

There are a number of ways you can find people to live in your home. Most homeowners list their spare room or apartment online, but it can also be a good idea to reach out to people you know and trust.

Once you have interested parties, you might want to purchase a background check and determine if youíll require certain documents (proof of income, credit score, etc.).

Document everything

Thereís a reason you have to do so much paperwork when you rent an apartment--the landlord wants to make sure they are covered in case anything goes wrong.

Before signing an agreement with your new renter, make sure it covers all of the ďwhat-ifĒ scenarios that could happen. There are several sample lease agreements online that you can use as a template.

Furthermore, once the tenant moves in, be sure that your discussions and agreements are documented. If the tenant denies you access to perform a check for pests, make sure you have some documentation that shows this denial.




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