27 September 2006

Buying a House?

Thinking of buying a house? Here are some tips you might want to consider before making decision, read on!


Since the cost of housing is perhaps the greatest expense you’ll ever incur, you must study your personal situation, research the possibilities, and pray for the Lord’s guidance in order to make educated decisions about what’s right for you.


One decision you’ll face in your search for housing is whether to buy or rent, which depends on how much you can afford to spend. And the only sure way to determine your spending limit is to live on a budget. With a budget, you know how much is coming in, how much is going out, and areas in which you can cut costs. This allows you to take the monthly amount you’d be paying on a certain house and try fitting that amount into your budget. It should be stated at the outset that buying a house without first checking your budget can place a tremendous financial burden on your family. The resulting stress can destroy your relationship with your spouse.

Of course, buying a house within your budget may require you to settle for a smaller house than you desire. But one thing’s for sure: The less you owe on your house, the faster you can pay it off. Then, you can take the money you were using to make payments and invest it for your children’s college or for retirement. The state of our nation’s economy is another reason to pay off your house early. The continuous buildup of federal debt must eventually produce severe economic consequences. The people with the greatest amount of debt at that time will be likely to suffer most as a result of these consequences.

Thus, we may conclude that living on a budget is the first step in buying a house. But even though your financial situation will be the major factor in determining what type of housing you need, there are other factors that must be considered. Prayerfully give these questions some thought.

1. Is your job secure enough for you to start making a mortgage payment? If not, consider renting instead of buying a house.

2. How long do you plan to stay in the area? If you know you will be staying in the community for at least five years, house ownership may be a good option.

3. What is the economy like in the area you are considering? Is the area growing substantially, and will the house appreciate? You don’t want to be stuck with a house that you can’t sell because of a poor economy.

4. What is the cost of living in the new area? If it is high, it will definitely affect your budget and may change the amount you can afford for housing.

After answering these questions, take the amount you can spend for housing and determine if house payments, including taxes and insurance, upkeep, and maintenance would be equal to or less than rental payments for a similar house in the same area. If they would be, then buying a house may be a wise choice.


If you’ve decided that renting a house is a better option for you at this time, there are several things to consider. First, decide what type of dwelling you want to rent.You can rent a house, apartment, town house, mobile home, or even a room or suite in someone else’s house. The people in your church are often a good source of information about availability, location, and cost of rentals around the area.


If you’ve decided that buying a house fits into your budget and is in your best interest long term, you can begin to look at the options available to you. Included in these options are new and used houses and condominiums.

First you will need to decide whether you want to purchase a new or used house. The advantages of purchasing a new house are that you can design the interior of your house to fit your individual needs. But new houses also have a big disadvantage. With few exceptions, those who bought a new house end up spending more than they planned to spend. Changes made, i.e. renovation, while the house is still new cost a lot of money, and it takes considerable time and mental effort to oversee the renovation of a new house.With used houses, there are several advantages. You know exactly what the house is going to cost and you can get more extras.

Used houses may come with curtains, curtain rods, towel racks, ceiling fans, lights in the closets, light bulbs, built-in cabinet, renovated kitchen/dining area, and occasionally appliances (air-conds, entertainment, fridge, washing machine etc). Be sure the contract states exactly which items will come with the house. One disadvantage of a used house is that it will likely have some wear and tear, which means repairs. The older the house is, the more repairs it’s likely to need. You should always check the heating and air conditioning, roof, water heater, kitchen cabinet, and appliances to see if they are in working condition. You may choose to hire a house inspection service to do this for you.

After the house has been checked, you can decide whether to purchase the house as is or back out of the deal.

This type of a house can be purchased at a relatively lower cost than other used houses. But you’ll need to take into consideration the extra funds for repairs, which will be in addition to the normal housing allocation. Be sure to have the house checked thoroughly, including foundations, roof, plumbing,and wiring, so you’ll know exactly what is wrong with the house before you buy it.

Another option is a condominium. You need to be aware of some additional costs involved above the purchase price, such as maintenance fees and club fees. Be aware that the maintenance fees are subject to change each year, and you have no control over them. This is not a bad option, especially if you don’t want to bother with yardwork.


Now that you’ve decided what type of house you want to buy, you need to decide how to pay for it. In order to serve God in the very best way, the goal of all Christians should be to become debt free—including their homes. If you choose to borrow money to purchase the house, you should make it your goal to pay the house off as soon as possible.

Pay Cash
The best way to buy a house is to pay cash, provided you are financially able to do so. The idea of owning a house debt free is not a new one; in fact, it’s quite ancient. Most families used to own their houses, and those who didn’t were abnormal. Couples who couldn’t afford the large house they wanted followed a procedure that young couples need to follow today.

They would
1. Buy a smaller house;
2. Put a great deal of time and effort into it, thereby improving its value;
3. Sell it; and
4. Buy the next larger size house.

Eventually, these couples got their dream house without going into debt.

Remember: Patience is the key, as the bible says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Tenant’s Guide to Renting

The first challenge every tenant faces is finding an apartment for rent that suits their individual needs. For today’s tenant, the most effective apartment search can be done using an online apartment finder. Tenants should decide what they require in an apartment or house rental before beginning their search. For example: the number of bedrooms, location or distance from public transportation and how much the tenant can afford to pay in rent, furnished or unfurnished apartment, etc. By making these important decisions first, tenants can avoid renting an apartment or house only to regret it later. Many tenants today are taking advantage of the convenience of the internet to locate apartments for rent as opposed to the traditional print publications.

Once a possible apartment or home has been found, it is the tenant's duty to thoroughly inspect the premises making a commitment in the form of a security deposit. A tenant should not rely on the landlord or the landlord's agent to tell the tenant if anything is wrong with the property. The tenant must inspect the property carefully and ask questions about it.
Inspecting the condition and functionality of the following areas/features of the apartment before committing yourself as a tenant is highly recommended.
1. Kitchen appliances in working order.
2. Water pressure strong, plumbing without leaks.
3. Electrical outlets and wiring working.
4. Walls and ceiling painted or papered without cracks
5. Ventilation or air conditioning accessible.
6. Floors, railings and bathrooms in good repair.
7. Fire escape easy to use.
8. Stairs safe and well-lighted.
9. No rodents or insects.
10. Heating system in working order.
11. If furnished, check and write down condition of all furniture.
12. Windows and doors operable and weather-tight; screens provided.
The tenant should also check the security of the building to find out if there is a dead-bolt lock, security chain, or through-the-door viewer.
BEWARE OF EXISTING DAMAGES: In order to avoid being blamed for damages that already exist in the rental unit, the cautious tenant should take every step for self-protection. Before moving in (or as soon as possible thereafter), the tenant should make a list of all existing damages and repairs that need to be made. A copy of the list should he presented to the landlord and attached to the lease This way the landlord cannot blame the tenant for damages caused by others and the tenant will know what the landlord intends to repair. If the tenant keeps good records the landlord will not be able to keep the tenant’s security deposit for damages that were actually caused by others. Taking pictures before moving in is also strongly recommended.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Rossano, associated with www.AllSpaces.com who “Conveniently Connects All People with All Spaces in All Places” has been dedicated to the Real Estate rental market for over 8 years. He has assisted over 25,000 tenants with their renting needs. Any questions about renting apartments, houses or other rentals, feel free to visit www.AllSpaces.com or email him at Paul@AllSpaces.com.