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Homebuying Education

Strategies for Renters to Buy in 2020

Angie Kearns | 22 Feb 2020

Purchasing a home can often be an anxiety-inducing process. From the moment you decide to gear up for the extensive process, it is human nature to fear that you may be denied the dream of homeownership. There’s the threat of losing your financial security and the emotional roller coaster of your hopes for your family’s future being at the mercy of other people’s approval. 

Rest assured potential homebuyers: while daunting, the homebuying journey is within your control and you’re not in it alone. With the right partners by your side, even first-time homebuyers can navigate the transition from renting to owning this year with ease. 

Start with the assistance of a real estate agent that is focused on your success as the buyer first. The agent you partner with will equip you with the rest of your team players. It is acceptable to interview multiple agents before making a decision on who to work with for your homebuying journey. Everyone has different skill sets and it’s important to choose someone that resonates with you

Your real estate agent can provide you with a comparative marketing analysis that will give you the entire scope of the average rent versus the average mortgage payment in your preferred area. The analysis focuses on rental and for-sale listings that are similar in terms of square footage, age, amenities, upgrades, condition, and location. Agents can help renters battle fears about these costs by revealing ways to save on insurance, appeal property tax assessments, and negotiate closing costs. 

A mortgage officer will pre qualify you for your home.  This partner will plug in basic information about you: annual income, mortgage term and interest, credit score, monthly debts, estimated monthly property tax, insurance and any applicable homeowners association fees. After you receive these estimates, you are able to find out the maximum loan amount you are qualified for. 

At this point, you can decide to continue the process and get fully approved or postpone until you are ready. There are different mortgages that are available and you should choose the one that best suits your needs. Some loans require a 3% down payment requirement while others have low income parameters for people with challenged credit. Obtaining an 80% loan will be a lender’s dream because you lower their risk of defaulting on a loan when life brings financial challenges. 

More importantly, the benefit to you is that you avoid paying an additional payment called mortgage insurance. These hundreds of dollars, if avoided, can increase the amount of house that you will qualify for. It can change your zip code i.e. your quality of life and what you have access to in your neighborhood. As opposed to riding many miles to access the same benefits but costing more hours out of your day, gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. 

In order to get to a 20% down payment, there are many programs out there offering assistance. Here at Landed, we help essential professionals in a community, starting with educators, build financial security near the communities they serve through our down payment program. It is not a loan where you pay interest payments nor monthly payments.  It’s a partnership that is established to give the homeowner the greatest advantage in qualifying for the home of their dreams. 

What Is empowering about following these homebuying steps is that you become fully aware of what you are in position to accomplish financially. The old saying “knowing is half the battle” applies here: the more that you understand about what you can afford and the housing market in your area, the better prepared you are to make wise choices.  

2020 can be the year you make the transition from renting to owning your own home. The team here at Landed stands ready and willing to help you along the exciting journey! 


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About the Author

Angie Kearns

Angela (Angie) Kearns has been coined the Prosperity Queen since entering her real estate career in 1998. Her mission in life is to connect her clients to prosperity while purchasing or selling their homes. Born in Philadelphia, PA, Angie relocated to Metro-Atlanta, where she became a radio personality covering various topics on love, self-love, and healing from emotional chaos. Known for interviews with celebrities and professionals who have mastered their craft, her radio talk show offered advice and impactful epiphanies. Surprisingly, not being a fan of sports at all, she also had a popular sports talk show. Think Angie would stop at real estate and radio? Think again. Her first success as an entrepreneur was in 1994 with a daycare center in Smyrna, GA called Teach Me Write Preschool. Today, you can find Angie impacting the lives of many through her speaking engagements for adults and high school teens. Angie is also the mother of two daughters who have inherited her tenacious trailblazing attributes.

Looking for Landed's down payment program? Due to a temporary unavailability of DPP investment funds, all Landed metro areas are being put on a DPP waitlist effective September 8, 2022. You can read all the details (including FAQs) here if you would like to know more.