Welcome back, Mythbusters!
For first time homeowners, the home buying process can present many unknowns. There are certain perks to renting that provide a level of comfort that people are hesitant to leave behind. One of the perks of renting we hear often is the fact that maintenance and repairs are covered under a client’s lease.
Buying a home means taking on the burden of maintaining it. For those that cannot or do not want to maintain a home, renting may be the right option. For those that are worried about buying simply due to the cost of home maintenance, we suggest looking at the bigger picture. Here’s the myth:
The Myth: “Maintaining a home costs A LOT of money.”
Ok, we’ll concede that maintaining a home can be costly. If you are not prepared for that reality, it is certainly possible to have a poor home ownership experience. The reality is, your home is an investment, and maintaining it is key to getting a good return on that investment.
The key difference between renting and buying is that when you rent, you are putting money into someone else’s investment every month that you pay rent. With a mortgage, you are building equity that you can eventually recoup. Maintenance is similar in the sense that it may cost you upfront, but when you turn around and sell your home the value will more than likely reflect the work you’ve put into it.
The other part of this myth that we want to address is that any and all costs associated with maintaining a home are going to come out of the homeowner’s pocket.
First, you will have homeowner’s insurance. When a hail storm comes and damages your roof, this is something that your insurance will cover, meaning the only thing coming out of pocket is your deductible. It’s important to get a clear understanding of what your policy will and will not cover.
Second, we’re often able to negotiate home warranties as part of your purchase contract. Home warranties vary in their coverage and can ease the burden of replacing smaller items (and even some larger ones) when they break down. Between insurance and a home warranty, the costs associated with maintaining a home become less intimidating.
Finally, this is where it pays to have a competent, trustworthy Realtor. When we hear that you are concerned about maintaining a home, this is an important piece of feedback that factors into your home search and how we recommend you negotiate.
Older homes with outdated systems will most likely not be a fit for your needs, or you may find that buying a new home with a good warranty will give you the peace of mind you desire. Either way, your agent should be working with you to discover what provides you with the most amount of comfort.
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