When you’re buying a home, sometimes it can feel like every step requires your full attention. This sentiment carries perhaps the most weight among first-time homebuyers and those buying a house while renting an apartment.
If anxiety related to the unknowns around transitioning from renting to owning sounds familiar (and a little scary), don’t worry. While owning a home is a very different experience from renting, there are plenty of steps you can take to prepare yourself to be a homeowner while also making sure you take care of your current lease.
Once you’ve been pre-approved for a loan, made an offer on a home, and the offer has been accepted, things start to feel very real. Read on to learn more about the additional steps you have to take in order to complete the homebuying process. After that, we’ll make sure you’re prepared to move out of your rental!
6 Important Steps in the Homebuying Process
1. Getting a Home Inspection
In most cases, having the home inspected by a professional is well worth the money. You may have fallen in love with your new home at first sight, but it’s important to have your future home inspected to calculate any additional costs you may need to take on after moving in.
Typical home inspections include general home construction, lead-based paint, radon gas, insects, septic, electric, plumbing, etc.
Once the inspection is complete, you have the option to accept the home as is, cancel the contract, or negotiate with the seller about any issues that were discovered during the inspection.
2. Processing the Loan
The inspection is complete and terms have been agreed upon. Now, your loan is turned into the processor for review.
If any additional information is required of you, make sure to submit it as quickly as possible to move on to the next step.
3. Appraising the Home
An appraisal is an evaluation of a property’s value.
An appraiser visits your home and reviews recent selling prices of similar homes in the area to make sure what you’re willing to pay for the home makes the most sense for you and your lender.
4. Obtaining Homeowners Insurance
It is the homebuyer’s responsibility to get a homeowner insurance policy before closing on the home.
Some renters may be familiar with signing up for renters insurance, but a very important step in buying a home while renting is making sure your new home is insured.
Your real estate agent and lender will work with you to make sure you sign-up for the appropriate coverage.
5. Closing on the Home
You’re getting closer to becoming a homeowner!
At this point, a closing appointment is set, documents are signed, and funds are arranged through the title company.
The lender has the final approval on all documents and after that, the property is officially transferred.
6. Getting the Keys
You did it! Your real estate agent will reach out to you and have the keys to your new home delivered!
Getting the keys to your new home can make any first time homeowner excited to move in immediately. But before you can do that, you have to settle the terms of your lease if you’re buying a house while renting an apartment.
Here are our helpful tips for subletting and preparing to move on from your rented apartment without breaking your lease.
6 Things To Do Before Leaving Your Rental
1. Notify Your Landlord
It’s standard practice to let your landlord know at least 30 days in advance of your move out date. If you haven’t yet completed your lease term, you may also consider subleasing.
Some quick tips for subleasing are to make sure you find trustworthy tenants (like friends and family) and detail out the payment structure before allowing them to move in!
2. Finding a Subletter
Finding a subletter is a great option for those buying a home while renting an apartment but it’s important to first communicate with your landlord or property manager before finding someone to take over your lease.
After you’ve discussed with your building’s property manager, some quick tips for subleasing are to make sure you find trustworthy tenants. A lot of renters find subletters through their network of friends and family but you can also use trusted sites like Sublet.com and Spareroom.com to find a subletter in your area.
When subleasing, it’s also important to understand local laws or any specific language in your lease prohibiting you to find a subletter. Then, one of the most crucial tips for subleasing is to get a rental agreement, like payment amount and the payment process, in writing. This will protect you if issues around payment with your subletter arise while also taking responsibility to fulfill your lease agreement.
3. Schedule Movers
It usually takes at least 30 days to close on a home, so as soon as you have your official closing date, contact moving companies to help get you situated.
The sooner you schedule movers, the sooner you can make your landlord and neighbors aware that there will be some extra commotion on that day.
4. Schedule Furniture Delivery
You can finally say goodbye to that old apartment couch! Every new homebuyer gets excited about purchasing new furniture.
Knock out the basics first— bed, sofa, tables. All of the other stuff doesn’t have to be there the day you move in. Schedule furniture delivery as soon as possible once you have your closing date.
Pro-tip: Measure rooms in your new home during the inspection to ensure you order the right-sized furniture for your space!
5. Set Up Contractors
If you need some work done to your new home right away, scheduling an appointment with contractors is necessary.
Your real estate agent will typically help guide you to reputable contractors and will break down the process of whether contracting work should be included in your loan.
6. Clean Up
It’d be nice to get your security deposit back, right? That’s one extra kickback buying a house while renting an apartment gives you!
Do your best to clean up your space. Spackle walls, remove any carpet stains, and give your apartment a good overall scrub down. Your landlord will appreciate it and it will help you stay organized during the packing process!
Buying a home while renting can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you are prepared for the entire homebuying process and thorough in your preparations to leave your apartment, the journey should be more fun than daunting!
If you’re looking to move into a home that is welcoming, warm, traditional, and all-American, consider Liberty by Hillwood. Buying a home while renting won’t seem like such a stressful process when the amenities and surrounding schools at Liberty are waiting for you and your family.