7 Steps for Buying Your Dream Home In an Unaffordable City! [Complete Guide]

buying-a-home

My goal with this guide is to give you all the details of how to buy a house and make a new home in a very competitive real estate market.

I’ve been living in the Bay Area and have owned three properties over the last 17 years.

This guide is not about amassing a huge portfolio of real estate; it’s really about amassing just one property, so you have a base of security.

Residential real estate purchases are easy to finance, and most people can qualify for many of the first-time home buyer programs that are available out there.

Residential real estate can be a townhome, condo, single family home, or a multiplex (also known as a multi-uni) of up to 4 units, but you have to live in one of those units to qualify for those types of programs.

We are going to go through the complete process of buying a property and how you can make it more affordable by having roommates rent out rooms or other units.

This is the number one method of buying something in a competitive market such as San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, New York, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles, or anywhere else for that matter.

But before we get into the buying process, let’s jump right into it and cover the benefits first!

Benefits of Owning Property and Being a Landlord

Where do you start with all the benefits? I could offer you at least 100 or more, but honestly, the benefits are going to be a bit different for each person, depending on their goals in life. With that said, I’ll focus on the main ones that affect everyone.

The first one that sticks out at me is the fact you are protected against rent increases. Oh, then you get to write off all of your finance charges on your taxes.

And what about the option of renting out rooms or other units in your property to help pay it off quicker? Oh, and for retirement, one of the biggest perks is by paying off a mortgage and not renting.

You’ll be rent free during your retirement years. Then you also get all of the emotional perks that go along with owning a home. Think about how proud you will be, or how proud your family will be of you for securing them with a house you can pass down to them.

There are many benefits to being a landlord, oh where do we begin?

One, I think you know this one already, is that you don’t have to deal with a landlord telling you how to fix up, decorate, or when you are going to move out. Although, you may have to deal with a few restrictions if you move into a community with a homeowners’ association or HOA.

You get to move in, be secure, and only move out when you’re ready to sell. If you have a family that does not want to move out in the middle of a school year, that is a big perk.

There are some other great financial benefits as well.

One is writing off your property taxes (you may be able to recover those in your rent anyways). You also get to write off your mortgage interest, and if you are renting out any other units or spaces, you might be able to write off depreciation, repairs, remodels, insurance costs, and a lot of other stuff!

With all of these deductions, you might be putting yourself in a much lower tax bracket, the same tax rate that a billionaire is in. This could be quite likely depending on how your CPA evaluates the numbers and calculates all your tax obligations at the end of the year. Talk about power!

That is one of the biggest leveraged advantages rich people use for minimizing taxes, is real estate, which is why it is also so powerful to you.

Step #1: Getting the Financing

If you are lucky enough to have a large sum of cash to buy a real estate property outright, then congratulations! If so, you can most likely skip this section. But for the rest of us, we’ll need to know a bit about financials and how to obtain a mortgage.

Getting started with the financials can be a pain, but if you get everything organized and get pre-approved to purchase, it will make finding a new home a breeze.

Here are the steps to get started:

1) Figure out your total yearly income. Get a hold of all your financial records, so you know what type of income you have for the current year. Gather up your pay stubs, 1099’s, W-2’s, bank statements, investment statements, and any other sources that show a proof of income.

2) Get a hold of your previous two years of tax returns. This is especially the case if you are self-employed and only have 1099’s, or your income is not W-2 based. Lenders will almost always want to see how much income you have, if it’s remained steady, and where it’s coming from.

3) Set your budget and approximate what type of monthly mortgage payment you can afford. Don’t forget to give yourself some cushion in case it takes you a few months to acquire renters or roommates. Since the plan here is to offset this with a roommate or tenant income, keep that in mind too.

First Time Home Buyer Programs

These can range from financing or special deals for getting in at a reduced price in an expensive city. I’d advise you to research the rules and regulations very carefully for renting out rooms or eventually, if you want to rent the entire space out. It might be against the rules, or there may be some restrictions.

There are many types of loans out there, so it pays to take your time to research them.

With so many options available combined with a lot of lenders throwing some terms around, it can take something that is actually pretty simple and turn it into something complicated. One of my favorite terms is getting creative.

I highly recommend you educate yourself on the basics of financing and loans. I’m going to cover some of those basics now with you. Maybe down the road, I’ll have some YouTube videos or a guide just for financing for you to read. For now, these are really just a few basic concepts that you need to understand for this to work for you.

For starters, the most basic type and easiest financing for any first-time homebuyer of a residential property is to take advantage of a mortgage called an FHA. Think about what the FHA stands for – Federal Housing Administration. This is a relatively easy type of financing to qualify for.

Generally, you need to provide at least two years of stable employment at your current job or be in the same profession. Having other types of loans from before like buying a car or credit cards will help your situation as well.

You need a credit score above 580 as part of the basic qualifications, but honestly, in the real world, I’d shoot for at least a 620 score with no bad marks on your credit whatsoever.

On that note, it can’t hurt to take a look at your score and credit report. You will want to see if there are any negative or erroneous items that need to be addressed, so there are no surprises that prevent you from qualifying at the last minute.

My favorite part of this type of program is that you can buy with only 3.5% down. Compare that to the traditional 10 or 20% required for other decent mortgage offerings like the conventional mortgage. Speaking of conventional, let’s talk about that.

Conventional Financing

If you’re not a first-time buyer, then you also have the option to use conventional financing for buying a home.

A major difference with conventional home loans is that the buyer will usually need to have a credit score above 680. It’s possible to get a conventional loan with a lower credit score, but the lender may raise your interest rate or require a higher down payment to qualify you.

While most conventional loans do require a higher down payment, there are newer guidelines and options that allow you to have a down payment as low as 3%.

However, any down payment that is lower than 20% will require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which means you’ll have a higher monthly payment.

The amount of PMI can vary depending on your credit score and history, and it is cancelable once the home equity ratio reaches 20%.

Another difference between FHA and conventional loans is the debt-to-income ratio. With a conventional loan, you are required to have a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or less. This is the calculation of how much of your monthly income is spent on paying your monthly bills and expenses.

With an FHA loan, this figure can be much higher at up to 56%, but you will only qualify at that rate with a strong credit score and good credit history.

Since conventional loans are not backed by a government entity, they are also more flexible and offer a variety of options for home buyers. It’s always best to shop around for this type of loan as the terms can vary between lending companies.

You’ll often find flexibility with interest rates, down payment requirements, the length of the loan, and mortgage insurance rates so keep your eyes open for the best possible deal for your situation.

Step #2: Knowing When to Buy, Timing the Market (Understanding There’s Always a Cycle)

Sometimes there is a good time to buy and to sell. The brutal truth about real estate is that you’ll rarely ever be able to time the market perfectly. However, that should not be your primary goal.

But the good news is that there are a few other more predictable cycles that we can time and use it to our advantage.

The first being the time of year that you chose to buy or sell. In most cities, you’ll find it to be more of a seller’s market in the months of April to the end of August. The kids are out of school during the summer, so most families are looking to relocate and move during this time of the year, so they don’t interrupt school schedules.

All Realtors know this and will advise you on that being the best time to sell your house. But what if you’re trying to find a deal when you’re buying? That’s simple, buy during rest of the year when it slows down, say between October through March.

With probably November to January being the best time for a buyer’s market.

The downside, however, is that you will not have as much inventory either, so you can’t be too picky. Otherwise, you might have to wait until April or closer to May to find a good deal, while also competing with other buyers.

There are so many other factors to consider such as location, schools, how safe the neighborhood is, etc. So if you are really interested in the getting the best deal, do some research on the specific area you’re interested in. See if you can identify a pattern for the best time of year to buy and find out when it’s a buyer’s market.

In the major cities like San Francisco, San Jose or New York City, where there is so much demand to buy all year round, you’ll most likely still have competition, so it’s almost always a seller’s market no matter when you want to buy.

The other bigger cycle you can look for is the buyer and seller market which happens over the course of 5 – 10 years. If you were to look back at any trend of real estate sales and prices, you’d find that it typically always swings back and forth to being a good time to buy for 2 – 3 years, then sell for the next 2 – 3 years.

For example, let’s take a look at what happened from 2002 – 2012. It was a hot seller’s market from 2002 – 2006, the market went down, and then it was a buyer’s market from 2007 – 2012. Then in 2012, it got hot again and has been a seller’s market for the last three years, at least in California.

I cannot tell you when the next buyer’s market will be here, but my guess is soon. It seems like the prices have peaked and interest rates are going up, thus giving people less buying power.

Emotions can also control how and when these cycles occur. When people are not confident with the job market, they’ll rent instead of buy. This will cause a buyer’s market. It’s all controlled by supply and demand, which is always cycling on and off. Certain parts of the country will remain flat.

Other areas will peak high while others peak low. So get familiar with the market you want to buy in, do some research, and then you can get a good gut feeling on when it’s the right time to pull the trigger.

Step #3: Finding a Property Worthy of Being a Future Rental

When you evaluate the property that you are going to purchase, if you have dreams of moving out and renting it out one day, you will want to make sure it will make a good rental property. What makes a good rental property you ask? Well… A few things.

Let’s list them below.

A yard and garden with little maintenance and that are both easy to take care of. You’re probably going to want to hire a gardener to take care of the yard for you.

The smaller the layout, or less weeds and dirt you have, the better. That means cheaper watering costs, cheaper gardening costs, etc. And don’t ever count on your tenants to do the gardening, it will never happen!

The inside of your home or unit should also not be overly fixed up. It should be clean, modern, but not overly luxurious. Most tenants don’t care about the extras, and then you’ll end up with extended wear and tear on those items anyway. And to be honest, those items or fixtures will be more expensive to replace later on.

It’s preferable to buy off a busy street, in a court or cul de sac, and in a good school district. These factors will command more rent, but also better tenants. There are many more variables, and every deal is going to be different, so you’ll need to think of some of your own depending on what you see on the market. If you think it’s a concern, it probably is.

Working with a Realtor

When you are buying a piece of real estate, I always recommend to do it with a realtor you can trust. You want to look for someone who you would be so happy with their services that you’d refer them out yourself.

If you don’t have a realtor, you can find a good one normally by asking friends on Facebook, asking business associates, or maybe get out and view some open houses in the neighborhood and see how the realtor is working in action. If you speak with them for a few minutes and get a good feeling for them, then go for it.

The realtor is going to be both your research person and advisor. Find out what kinds of properties they specialize in and what part of town or city they know the best. If your plans to buy property is not right away and you’re looking for the perfect deal, explain that up front to them.

That way they’ll know what to expect from working with you. A good realtor will never high-pressure sales you into trying to find a house or investment property to buy that you are not sure about. I call it being strong-armed!

But at the same time, it is a commission-only job so don’t waste a realtor’s time if you are either not ready to buy, pre-approved with a mortgage, or have the cash ready to buy.

This will sound kind of weird too, but here’s a tip about having a realtor that helps in a competitive market. If you have a property that you want to buy, and that property gets multiple offers, it might come down to not the highest offer, but the most credible.

I once got a property that had 12 other offers, but because my realtor knew the realtor who was selling the house, in their eyes, I was the most credible. So the whole “who you know” idea is true in the world of Real Estate.

Another myth of Realtors is that some people think they’re going to show you deals that are not really deals. This is actually not true, so don’t ever buy into the idea that, well if this house is such a good deal, why aren’t they buying it? The answer is because flipping a house or owning real estate is a pain in the rear and not easy money like some people would have you believe.

It’s stressful and requires you to be a bit strategic and tactical to make money. Most realtors would rather sell and take commissions instead. Plus, most realtors won’t even sell a property they own themselves because it’s a huge conflict of interest. So just some tidbits of knowledge here. In the next section, we’ll discuss the whole for sale by owner thing.

Buying a FSBO (for sale by owner) Property

If you are with your realtor, make sure they show you everything on the market, including FSBO’s if you can find them. A FSBO can get a bit tricky because realtors might avoid these as it might be a bit harder to buy or for them to get a commission from a for sale by owner deal.

But you can still pull it off and just work on a deal to give your realtor two or three percent for doing the deal for both sides. It can work, but again, you’ll have to do a lot of your own research and don’t expect full service from your realtor. However, they should still want you to see the property and work with you on buying your dream home even if it’s a FSBO.

Help U Sell is a perfect example of a flat-fee broker that has the same attitude as a FSBO. The owner is more involved in hosting open houses along with other responsibilities, so it’s not a full-service broker. But hey, that’s okay, if you’re going to save some money! Like, 3 percent of 500k!

Step #4: Secrets to Negotiating a Deal

The biggest perk of getting a realtor for selling or buying a home is that they can help you negotiate. This is almost mandatory in a competitive market. However, if you are a seasoned investor, you might be a pretty savvy negotiator already.

Becoming a negotiation master takes time and experience. There are whole books on the subject, so it’s a bit hard to cover everything in a buying guide such as this one. But below I’ll cover the basics for you.

Ready?

Most sellers think their home is worth much more than it is, especially if you are the only offer on the table. However, the better negotiator is more rational.

Factors such as the emotions of the buyer, how long the house has been on the market, how desperate the other is for closing the deal, etc. can all affect the final sale price. You can negotiate on terms, price, repairs, rent backs, seller financing, credit backs for fix-ups, or other pertinent details.

As you continuously counter back and forth, gauge the actions of the other person. Remember that a married couple who has a job change and is forced to move out will lower the price more than a fancy realtor who bought it for cash and will just sit on it for the highest profit. Or, the developer who is selling 50 plus homes and can wait it out until they get the price they want.

The more you know about how motivated they are and their reasons the other person has to sell, the better your negotiating power will be.

Make your realtor work for their commission. Crunch the numbers and look at recent comps, the more educated you are about the area, the better position you have.

Put some back-up offers out on other properties too. Also, be prepared to walk away. Know that it’s okay to walk away, especially if the price goes so high up from other bidders that your monthly payment is beyond your comfort zone.

One last thing to consider, even if you agree on a higher price because of several offers or the seller thinks it’s worth more than the market, your bank may not even finance the deal if it can’t appraise the property at that higher amount. So put in your offer that you can get your deposit back and walk away if that is the case.

An aggressive deal can go so many ways.

If this property is a multi-unit you’ll need to review profit and loss statements, cash flow, the potential for rent increases, it can get crazy fast. You also need to consider the cap rate and other things.

I highly recommend you use a realtor that specializes in the type of property you want to buy so they can help you with the negotiations. Also, for anything more than a single family home you might want to consider a real estate attorney to help review all the other paperwork.

You’re going to inherit rental agreements, tenants, pets, and whatever else is setup in that deal! Maybe even the washers and dryer machines if they are included in the property.

Other things to consider are any other contingencies that could come up. These are essentially the conditions that could break the deal.

  • An expiration date – Set a date for the deal to expire.
  • Concessions – will the seller pay the closing costs? In a buyer’s market, you can just about always get the seller to pay the closing costs.
  • The amount of earnest money deposit – I usually like to put down as small of a deposit as possible. Ask the realtor to let you know what the minimum amount should be.

Step #5: What Happens During Escrow

Your time during escrow can be a scary one.

Make sure you do your appraisal and home inspection. Your realtor should be able to recommend professionals who can do this for you. Make sure this person has a history of doing business with them.

The appraiser is going to be working more for the bank than for you. They’ll be charging you, then reporting back to the bank. This is not a big deal as they typically just want to check out comps from nearby houses that recently sold.

Then they’ll take photos inside and outside of your new home to appraise the property. They will also look up records on the title and measure the lot size. That is it, typically.

With the home inspector, on the other hand, you should be a bit more careful. Make sure they know what the heck they are doing. Understand, they are no miracle worker.

But still, make sure they know about checking for all the obvious things like:

  1. Dirt and Drainage on your lot. Does water flow away from the house and foundation? Do the gutter spouts have pipes to draw the rain water away
  2. Roof. Find out what was replaced, or when the warranty on the existing roof expires. Find out what type – if it’s a shingle roof, did they install new shingle over old shingles? That happens sometimes, and it’s bad if more than two roofs are on the same structure. A house simply cannot support that much weight – shingles are heavy!
  3. The exterior of the house. Wires, paint, rot, cracks in the stucco, falling gutters, windows, loose boards, asbestos around the house – make sure to check if any of these conditions exist.
  4. The attic. Check up there for any signs of frame damage or water damage from the roof. Very important!
  5. Interior. Check out unlevel or soft floors, feel around window cracks for air or water flow. Look up high on the ceiling drywall, is there any weird bubbling or discoloration? That could be a sign of water damage.
  6. Electrical. When was it last updated? Is it grounded properly? Is it all original and the house is from 1908? Are there enough gas lines or electrical outlets to support all of the typical appliances such as a heater, air conditioning, oven, dryer, washer, etc.
  7. Crawlspaces and Basements. Check under there for any weird smells as there should be plenty of ventilation.
  8. Smells in the house or flooding. Could be a sign of cat pee, mold, or funky stuff going on the walls of that house that could lead to expensive repairs or potential health problems.
  9. Appliances. Are these a part of the deal? Are they new, under warranty, maintained, and/or installed correctly? What’s included a refrigerator, oven, washer, dryer, A/C, etc.? For example, I once was told that the fridge was part of the deal. It was not in the contract, and when the deal closed, the owner said, “Oh, we can leave it there for 300 dollars?” Hmm, it matched so I paid. I felt like a sucker though.
  10. Proper heating and cooling. Does the house have central air and heat? Or, does it have a less common solution called in-floor radiant heat? There are many different possibilities for heating and cooling. I once bought a house with an old in-floor radiant heating system, which was a water boiler that pumped hot water into the copper piping in the foundation. It worked great in the beginning but stopped working a few months later. The system had a water leak in it. The home inspector could never detect something like that. I got rid of the entire system and installed radiant wall heaters that ran on gas. I also ended up installing a wall unit for the AC. It worked out in the end, but make sure your home inspector gives you a good report on the heating and cooling, so you don’t end up in a bind!

Any of these potential issues can pop up, especially during the last 72 hours just before signing at the title company. I have bought a total of three properties during my life so far, and I’ve refinanced a total of over 12 times.

Whether it was during the purchase or the refinance, the same scary thing always seems to happen.

One other thing to watch out for is if the freaking escrow officer says to your loan agent that they need more liquid reserves than was initially thought. They need to bring more cash to closing, or they need to see 3 or 6 months of reserve payments in the buyer’s checking account. They try to scare you like you won’t get the loan unless you comply.

This happens to me every time. You know what I do or tell them? One of two things. If I can easily get the money, I’ll just show it or put it in the account, then send the proof over to them. The second option would be to just say, “Look, you said $65,000 was enough during the approval, and that’s all I have. We are three days from closing, you’d better approve it, or you can explain to the seller, realtors, title company, and everyone else why we got this far and now you’re giving me the runaround.” I mean, c’mon!

Under normal circumstances, they should just be like okay, we’ll go ahead and make an exception. However, if you have something that came back on the title for the property, like an unknown lien, or some shady investor clouded the title at the last minute, you will not be closing.

You might even be forced to forfeit your deposit on the property, and wow, that would suck. Or, maybe you went out and bought a new car or slipped a late payment on another account that impacted your credit score.

Be careful! Anything that could drop your credit score during escrow could cost you the house in the end. It’s not fair, I know, and not very common, but it could happen, so watch out for it.

Step #6: Signing the Papers at the Title Company

Signing papers is going to be stressful, but you can minimize this stress by reviewing the paperwork ahead of time. You should have what’s called a Good Faith Estimate and a copy of all the other documents. It’s a big stack of papers and you simply just cannot read every single line.

So, do what you will, but keep in mind that you can review them the best you can and look for any clear errors on the interest rate, fees, or other specific details that you’re aware of.

On your good faith estimate, there will be lots of fees, and I mean lots! You may also see these fees shown or referred to as closing costs.

There is some hidden code talk that coincides with the numbers on that long list too. Typically, those numbers mean the following:

  • 800 Items – Fees related to the actual mortgage loan itself.
  • 900 Items – All of the things you paid in advance.
  • 1000 Items – Any prepaid deposits you make for the loan for your
    impound accounts, etc.
  • 1100 Items – All related to the title company.
  • 1200 Items – Government Recording or Transfer Charges.
  • 1300 Items – Anything additional, like your Pest Inspection, etc.

Below I’ve listed the most important fees. The general rule here is to make sure you have a basic understanding of what you should be paying for each one.

Usually, you’ll be given the estimate a few weeks before closing
on the deal. Then you’ll see the finalized one in your closing docs
from the title company.

Here is a generic list of the items. I’ve flagged each one with a “**” for the ones I’ve had the most trouble with in the past. In other words, these are the ones where I’ve noticed had an incorrect amount when it came time to sign the paperwork. Your experience will vary a lot so don’t depend on this for your specific situation.

Some Good Faith Estimate example loan items:

  • ** 801 Loan Origination Fee – Price to create the loan.
  • ** 802 Loan Discount – Buy the rate down.
  • ** 803 Loan Appraisal – Cost for your home appraisal.
  • 804 Credit Report – Cost to pull your credit.
  • 805 Lender Inspection Fees – Cost for the lender to double check the appraisal.
  • ** 808 Mortgage Broker Fees – Your mortgage broker’s cut on the deal. (Don’t forget about any kickbacks they get after the deal is closed. You’ll never know how much they make on that.)
  • 809 Tax Service Fees – More tax-related lender fees.
  • ** 810 Processing Fee – The cost of running your loan application, collecting your paperwork, W2’s, paycheck stubs, etc.
  • 811 Underwriting Fee – For approving the loan.
  • 812 Wire Transfer Fee – If you are transferring any funds via Wire
    Transfer, the fees for processing the transaction go here.
  • 901 Interest for days X $ per day – Prepaid Interest on your loan amount.
  • 902 Mortgage Insurance Premium – Prepaid money for the Mortgage Insurance, or PMI. For example, a fee will show up here if you put below 20% down with an FHA Loan.
  • 903 Hazard Insurance – Records the money charged for Hazard Insurance premiums.
  • 905 VA Funding Fee – A funding fee if your loan is part of the VA Program.
  • 1001 Hazard Insurance Premiums – Prepayment of the Hazard Insurance.
  • 1002 Mortgage Insurance Premiums – Premium for starting your PMI payments through an Impound account on your mortgage account.
  • 1003 School Taxes – Prepayment of future school tax payments.
  • ** 1004 Taxes and Assessment Reserves – Future payment of Property taxes from your Impound account.
  • 1005 Flood Insurance Reserves – Prepayment of the monthly payment for Flood Insurance. If your new home is in a flood zone, this is most likely going to be required.
  • 1008 Aggregate Accounting Adjustment – A misc. credit to the buyer.
  • ** 1100 Closing and Escrow Fees – Title company fees for helping you close the deal between the seller and buyer.
  • 1105 Doc Prep Fee – For preparing the loan docs, emailing them around, printing the docs, and getting them ready for the title company.
  • 1106 Notary Fee – Fees that go to the person with you to take your thumbprint and help you sign.
  • 1107 Attorney Fees – If you had a Real Estate Attorney assist you in, this cost goes here. Anytime you have legal issues with the property. You’re going to need an attorney!
  • 1108 Title Insurance – Cost for getting the title insured, this is a requirement no matter what.
  • ** 1302 Pest Inspection – The cost of the pest inspector – every lender requires this.

And there you have it! Fees!

After you are done signing the paperwork, you’ll have 72 hours to review the copy of papers given to you. You have the legal right to cancel and pull out of the deal if you want to. The most common error I see in these signings is that the finance charges are screwed up.

I ‘m not sure if the mortgage companies think you won’t see it, but watch out for APR, Points, Kickbacks, credit backs, or anything else that looks funny. If the amount you see in the final papers is more than a few hundred dollars of your good faith estimate, then you need to have some concerns.

After everything is signed and done, you’ll provide your ID and thumbprint to the notary, and then the deal is done. Funding will begin, and it will be smooth sailing at this point unless the underwriter screws with you. I doubt it though, they normally only do that before you sign.

Step #7: Getting the Keys and Moving in!

Congrats you finally got the keys! Now, you need to go in and take a look around. Make sure things are clean, repaired, and everything is cool. Go in the daytime, never inspect a house at night. I made this mistake once.

Before you move anything in, you need to be able to report any damage or things that are wrong from when the other sellers moved out. The more time that goes by without reporting a problem, the more it will work against you for proving it. The suspicion that you caused it will go up the longer you wait, especially if you move in and start living there!

Repairs and Warranty work is different, but stains on the carpet or holes in walls will be your own problem once you move in.

If you are lucky enough to buy a residential property with 2, 3, or 4 units, you’ll be living in one and having others live with you in those additional units.

Below, are a few of the things that you will need from your tenants.
1) Credit check
2) References
3) A quality source to locate people interested in renting
4) Security deposit
5) Photos of the space before they move in
6) Pet policy setup ahead of time
7) Reserves in the bank, in the case of emergencies.

I plan on writing a follow-up guide for managing tenants in your rental property very soon. For now, you can reference my Find A Roommate and Living Roommate Secrets guides for expert advice on being a live-in landlord renting your bedrooms.

Final Thoughts

You made it! Feels good to be a homeowner I bet. If you followed this advice and it worked for you send me a message on Twitter or use my contact form! I’d love to hear what you got out of it and if you used my guide for buying your dream home.

Until the next guide, take care!