8 Signs You’re Ready to Stop Renting and Buy a Home

Buying a home is a major decision, and you want to make sure you are ready before diving right in. Here are eight signs that you’re ready to make the switch from renter to homeowner.

  1. You’re tired of rising rent prices.
  • Increasing rent rates makes formulating a budget extremely difficult, and even harder to save for other financial goals
  • You want to be building equity for the future, not pouring money into a bad investment month after month.
  1. Your credit score has improved.
  • Improving your credit score will help you qualify for a mortgage
  • You won’t require as large of a down payment
  • The better the score the better the interest rate and loan terms in general
  1. You’re good at managing debt.
  • Keep in mind your debt-to-income ratio: add up all of your monthly expenses and debts and divide by your gross monthly income
  • Most lenders require a ratio of no more than 43%
  • Some conventional loans allow up to 50%
  1. You have enough set aside for the extra costs of owning a home
  • Make sure you are thinking about emergency funds for unexpected expenses
  • Budget property taxes and routine maintenance costs
  1. You can afford the down payment and closing costs.
  • Most conventional loans require a 5% down payment
  • Some FHA loans, mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, require only 3.5% down
  • Closing costs could be another 2-7% of the property’s sale price, but this can sometimes be negotiable
  • Search for grants and other loan programs, or better yet contact us to find a loan officer to find what will work best for you
  1. You’re ready to settle down in one place.
  • With all of the upfront costs, you want to make sure you will be happy where you are settled
  • Having job security is key, as you don’t anticipate moving in the next few years.
  1. You’re going through a major life change.
  • Getting married, having a growing family, or getting a new job make for common incentives to prospective homeowners
  1. You know what you want.
  • Is there a specific neighborhood or school district that you want to live in?
  • Think about the different types of homes: houses, townhouses, condos, etc. 

Ready to leave renting behind?

Contact us to find out what’s next! Call Michael Olear at 418-9959 any time for a free consult or assistance with real estate related questions.


Spring Clean Home

While we regularly push off deep cleaning our homes until Springtime, there really is no reason to make this only an annual task. There are several small chores that can be done regardless of the season to keep things tidy and sanitary. Here are 8 tips to keep your home feeling spring-clean all year long.

#1 Keep garbage cans and wastebaskets clean and disinfected

  • Especially in winter when a closed up home traps all the germs in
  • Wash down cans and wastebaskets, even spray disinfectant
  • Scrub away and residue and let dry in direct sunlight as it help eliminate bacteria

#2 Wash and disinfect toilet brushes and holders

  • As with garbage cans, thoroughly rinse and spray wash the inside of the base
  • Let the brush sit in a mixture of hot water with either bleach or vinegar

#3 Flip your furniture over and around

  • Vacuum the underside of your furniture rather than just underneath it
  • Check dust covers that catch dust bunnies and dreck tacked under upholstered pieces
  • Shift the furniture around the room to vacuum the floor in previously hard to reach areas

#4 Clean horizontal surfaces

  • Be mindful of all of the flat surfaces that catch dust, not just tables and countertops
  • Clean the top horizontal edges of interior doors, baseboards, artwork and mirrors, upper kitchen cabinets, light bulbs & light fixtures as well as smaller items such as electrical wall plates and wall-mounted detectors
  • Dust off ceiling blades as a ton of dust gathers when idle

#5 Vacuum Behind the Fridge

  • Pull out your fridge regularly to vacuum behind it
  • Brush off condenser coils, whether in the back or behind the bottom faceplate
  • Check that the freezer vents are clear

#6 Clean seasonal entry

  • Utilize coil doormats to wipe away winter slush and mud
  • Maintain a clean floor by sweeping up dirt and leaves that track in
  • Create a shoe station; somewhere to sit to take off boots and add a rack or tray to keep wet footwear

#7 Clean the windows

  • Take advantage on natural light by cleaning the dirty layer that tints your window glass
  • Clean both the inside and outside surfaces with solutions and microfiber cloths

#8 Change Furnace Filters

  • One of the simplest chores is to regularly change these out, at least every 60 days
  • Minimum efficiency rating values range from 1 to 16, though 7-13 is typical for households
  • Filters with a higher number have a better efficiency, but also restrict air flow

5 Steps Towards A Usable Garage

With the nice weather finally breaking you might find yourself eager to move your spring cleaning project outside of your main home. The garage is somewhat a removed space; out of sight, out of mind but accumulates clutter quickly! Tackling storage central may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but knowing where to start can help alleviate the stress.

1.Clear and clean first – Take everything out of the garage to start. Once empty, thoroughly clean the floor, ceiling, walls, and any built in shelving.

2.Scrub, sweep and survey – Scrub down grime from the floor and walls, and use a broom to know down cobwebs from rafters and light fixtures. Sweep debris from the furthest point inside towards the door and outside. Check outlets and electrical appliances, change out light-bulbs if necessary.

3.Paint the floor – A couple fresh paint coats will fill in any cracks and ensure a longer life of the concrete base.

4.Keep and go piles – Taking inventory of everything pulled out, separate items that you know you want to keep first, followed by what can be donated or thrown away.

5.Organize while putting it all back – Use existing shelving or install a new unit to keep items off of the floor. Aim to keep long term storage items furthest in the back, and more frequently used or seasonal items up front. Keep up with putting things back where they came after use and avoid another massive overhaul!