Owning a home versus renting comes with many benefits. Painting the walls, having a pet, building a treehouse in the backyard for your kids, to name a few. It gives you the independence to do whatever you want with your home, whenever you want. Some people find it easier to continue renting than to gain that independence. Home ownership comes with many responsibilities. Here are the top three you’ll have to face as a homeowner.

Financial Responsibility

You will owe your lender payments which need to be paid in a timely manner. On time payments help build your credit, better credit can mean more remodeling projects you can take on, or perhaps furniture for your home, or maybe a new car. Having a higher credit score can help you with these things. Your payments should not exceed more than 40 percent of your income, if you overextend yourself, you could have trouble meeting the minimum payments. Limit the amount of credit you use and pay your bills on time every month. Avoid new charges unless you’ve paid off the old ones. You should also try and save as much money as you can. Put money in your 401K, invest in the stock market, or even put it in a lockbox under your bed, as long as you are saving rather than overspending. It’s also a good idea to have at least six months of payment stored somewhere in case of emergencies.

Neighborhood Responsibility

When you buy a home, you and your home are now a part of the image of the neighborhood, and can either improve or damage that image. Keeping your yard well-groomed can go far in making the neighborhood look nicer. This is an excellent way to protect your investment and that of your neighbors. This is one of the reasons many neighborhoods have homeowners associations. They try to protect property value by ensuring neighborhood safety and maintenance. To reap the benefits of higher property value, make sure to keep up with the HOA and their regulations. Consider volunteering to help or participate in meetings.Before you purchase a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, make sure to review their CC&Rs, (Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) and make sure you will be able to keep up with them. If there are terms or conditions that bother you it may be wise to search a different neighborhood for your home.

Household Responsibility

Moving into a new home is a great chance to improve your lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of your new home and neighborhood. Choose a home that meets your needs and allows you to live within your means. If you don’t have a yard for the kids, find a home near a park or a playground. Keep in mind the time it will take to drive to your local grocery store, work and school. Check out traffic in the area and think about how the drive times will affect your family. You might want to live in a particular area, but if the payment for the house is too high, it can create financial strain. It’s better to buy a smaller home and be able to manage your payments than to have a larger home and not be able to make your payments.

When you make the decision to give up your landlord and buy a home, Contact Sandi Pressley to get started.