After college graduation, we feel empowered and ready to take on the world. As you leave college and enter adult life, it’s important to find a good home.
If you lived in a dorm during your stay at college, you’ll be eager to finally have a place to call your own. So, when you start your house hunt there are a few things you have to think about: roommates, finances, location, etc.
This process can feel overwhelming, but with a bit of research and an expert realtor, it can be made quick and easy.
Is Renting Right for You?
Renting is a fantastic option for the recent college graduate. In most cases, renting is more affordable than buying a home. It’s important not to overestimate our income and live above our means, especially while trying to pay off college debt.
Having roommates is another smart option for new grads since it lowers the cost of rent and utility bills. But when choosing roommates, it’s important that they’re financially reliable and can get along with each other.
Keep in mind that having roommates means you may occasionally encounter problems. Always make sure to meet and get to know your prospective roommates before signing the lease. Having quality roommates is going to make your life a whole lot easier.
How Should You Budget?
Always, always, always start with a budget when you’re looking into buying a new home. If you have a job lined up, then you can make a conservative estimate of your monthly earnings. And with finances, we always work backwards.
Start with your static bills like car payments, student loans, insurance, etc. By looking at static expenses, you can subtract the costs from your monthly income and then see how much you have left for dynamic expenses and savings.
Once you’ve set a budget you should have a good idea about how much you can put towards a house. This will also help you get a good idea about the area you’ll live, which will affect your daily commute to work.
What’s the Housing Process?
We want to be smart about buying a new home. Always get a realtor to help you look for places in your budget. They’re a great resource and have much more experience than we do with house hunting.
Make sure you have everything you’ll need during the process, such as a good credit score, a possible guarantor, and proof of employment. Ask your realtor and potential landlords about rent and buying requirements.
Having enough money saved to put a deposit down is also important. Once you’ve determined the cost of living in your area, save enough for two months of payments and a deposit. If you haven’t started work, see if you can live with friends or family in the interim.
Looking for a home after college is overwhelming on your own, but if you come prepared and seek help, you can save yourself a lot of stress. Remember not to rush into buying anything and to trust your gut. I something feels wrong then you don’t have to commit.
With some money saved and an experienced realtor helping you, you’ll find a quality home in no time. Bottom line, stick with your budget, decide where you want to live, and choose an appropriate housing situation to meet your needs.
By Alex Schaffer