Becoming a Homeowner

Making the leap from lifelong renter to homeowner is exciting but it can also be stressful and time-consuming.  Homeownership comes with a ton of responsibility but it results in finally having a place to call your own. A place where you can settle, make all the choices and plant roots.

Here are some tips to help make the transition from renter to owner as smooth as possible.

Create a Detailed Budget

Entering homeownership for the first time is expensive and a big financial change for most. You need to know where your money is going every month. Create a detailed budget where you outline every monthly cost and be sure to leave some room for those pesky costs that pop up every month.

Your budget will guide most of your monthly spending. The more detail you include, the less chance you have of being surprised. If you come under budget some months you can consider making a larger mortgage payment, which will go towards the principal.

Learn to be Handy

Renting can be nice and breezy. When your faucet breaks, you call your landlord and they call the plumber. When you have an electrical problem, you call your landlord and they call the electrician.

Owning a home means being responsible for every broken appliance, leaky faucet and every part of a home that requires maintenance. Learning to be handy and being able to make small repairs can save an owner a lot of money and get your home running at optimal capacity quicker.

There are a ton of DIY classes people can take to improve their skills and knowledge. Home Depot and community centres tend to offer these classes in the GTA.

Do not Overlook…

An important tip for homeowners is to stay organized. If you are upgrading the size of your home, you will have more space so use it wisely. This doesn’t mean acquiring more stuff, but instead, make sure you keep your storage spaces organized and don’t let your garage devolve into a room full of tools and boxes of old clothes.

There might not be a bigger lifestyle change than the one that comes with becoming a homeowner for the first time. Go into the situation with a plan and do your best to execute that plan every month to ensure the transition works and to minimize stress.

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