We all know the real estate market is crazy; some days it’s up, some days it’s down. One season it’s a buyers market, the next it’s red-hot for sellers. But, renters are a special breed with their own unique set of challenges. One of those challenges is determining how to decide what to do when the rent is too high. Seriously, what’s a person to do? When you’re getting outpriced to rent, but you’re not quite ready to buy a home it can be a really tricky situation, and your pals at Homes.com are ready to help. So, buckle up, because we’re going to give you some options, like a choose your adventure game… except it’s your life.
Option 1: Start Researching Different Loans
You know that voice in the back of your head that tells you you should be looking to buy a home? No, it’s not your mom nagging you, it’s trying to tell you something. Don’t feel burdened by that 20% down payment myth! You don’t have to buy a home through a conventional loan because there are several options available that can make the process of affording a home more realistic than previously thought. For example, an FHA loan requires a down payment as low as 3.5%, and can even help you save on closing costs. No matter what, start to research different mortgage options and have conversations with a qualified mortgage lender. A conversation never hurts, right?
Option 2: Deal With the Rent
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. That first word? Deal, and that’s the key here. Talk to your landlord or property manager to see if any provisions in your rent are negotiable. You know that old advice, “you’ll never know unless you ask,” is perfectly applicable in this situation, too. The price may not go down, but you could leverage for additional utilities to be included, like water, heating or electricity. Maybe your apartment is due for some upgrades that could help offset the higher cost. Also, try to see if signing a longer lease than a standard year would allow for price breaks if you’re not 100% ready to jump into buying a home.
Option 3: Cut Costs
You know the drill: pack lunch, don’t buy that latte, trim down cable or streaming services. Where you can cut costs to help offset your rent, make it happen. If you’ve already done or have been doing that and it’s still not working, it might be time to make the hard decision and relocate, which brings us up to option four.
Option 4: Explore Other Neighborhoods
If you’ve tried all of the other options and nothing is working, and absolutely know that buying a home is not the cards for you, it might be time to find another space. It’s a hard decision, but you need to make sure you can pay your rent, pay your other bills, have money to eat, and maybe (just maybe) set some money aside in a savings account. If you’re in a more urban area, exploring a move to the suburbs or a smaller sub-city of the larger area may have the rent prices that are more aligned with your needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a real estate agent to help you in this process. Not all agents are just for buying and selling homes. Agents can help you find a new location that’s less aggressively priced, and maybe even have the inside scoop on properties that aren’t on the market yet.
No matter which option you choose, it’s okay! Just remember to take a deep breath and thoroughly weigh all of your options before making a decision. Any one of these could be the best move for you and your family, it just depends on your situation. If there’s one lesson you take away from today, it’s that it never hurts to have a conversation. Whether it’s exploring mortgage options, talking to your landlord, or reaching out to a real estate professional, be brave and try. If you’ve been in this situation and would like to share your story and what you chose, we’d love to hear from you! Drop a comment below and let’s have a conversation!