Drafting Your Plan: Go From Renter To Home Buyer
Still renting? Have dreams of being a homeowner? Perhaps your goal is to have a portfolio of rental properties. Maybe it is time you sat down and mapped out your plan for going from renter to buying a home. Drafting a plan can help you achieve your goals in more ways than you may think.
Spending hours drooling over real estate eye candy online, on TV, and in local neighborhoods can be great. The inspirational and motivational boost can help. But it won’t get renters far, unless they craft a plan to get them from where they are now, to where they want to be.
So do you need to create a plan for buying a home, and reaching your other real estate and financial goals?
Step One: What do You Want?
The critical first step is defining what you really want. Do you just want to own any home? Is there a particular location, style of architecture, and number of features you need to fulfill your dream? What will owning this home do for you? Will it keep your family safe? Prevent you from being held at ransom by landlords? Make you feel great, living in luxury?
Do you want to just own any property? Or do you want a condo, a single family house, ranch, mountain top cabin or beach bungalow? Will you be happy with an existing property, or desire to custom design your own home from the ground up?
Lay out exactly what you want. The more specific, the better. Cut out, save, and bookmark all of the images that go along with this. You might not know how you’ll achieve all of this. You may not even believe half of it is possible. But you can quickly find that with a plan, small steps can quickly accumulate into making giant leaps.
Step Two: What Have You Got?
However little it may be, it is important to take stock of what you have, and where you are now. You might even realize you have more than you think. Some questions to ask may include:
- How much can you afford in housing payments?
- What are your options for increasing your income?
- What savings do you have?
- What assets can be leveraged such as retirement accounts or cars?
- What is your credit score, and history like?
- How much manpower, or skills do you have to put into sweat equity?
- Who do you know that can help?
Step Three: What do You Need?
What do you need to bridge the gap between where you are now, and where you want to go? Ask:
- Do I need to develop new lines of credit?
- Do I need to save more money?
- What do I need to research?
- Who do I need to meet and build relationships with?
- What books or real estate books and course do I need to study?
Some of the gaps between where you are now may appear large. Others might be smaller than you think? Again, don’t be discouraged by gaps. Just make a plan.
Step Four: Crafting Your A-Z Plan for Buying a Home
Now organize your above lists, and break them down into a plan. Be detailed and specific. Break everything down into bite-sized action steps, with timelines. For example; if your credit needs work part of your plan may look like:
- Save $500 over the next 30 days
- Open a secured credit card account
- Repeat the above 3 times, over the next 90 days
- Apply $100 per week to paying down existing debt, until under 30% of credit limits
- Negotiate and aim to pay off any very recent collections for 50 cents on the dollar or less
- Keep great records of alternative credit payments such as phone bills, utilities, etc.
- Stop paying cash for rent, and keep copies of all cancelled checks
In following these steps, an individual’s credit may be transformed from miserable to pretty magnificent in 24 months. And they may become excellent candidates for qualifying for a mortgage loan. Apply the same type of planning to everything else. Create a plan for savings, no matter how small the amounts seem. It can build up faster than you think. And a lot faster than not saving anything at all. If you plan to build a custom home perhaps you can find a lot and buy that right away, while taking your time to develop plans. Along the way you might find many hacks such as owner financing, private mortgage lending, concentrated real estate coaching weekends, and more.
The more time you devote to learning, the faster you’ll speed towards your goals.