Stop renting and purchase a home of your own


Today’s article features a guest writer for Imagine Your House: Darlene Mase. Read more about Darlene below.


You’ve decided to stop renting an apartment or home and purchase a house of your own. Congratulations! However, in the midst of all the excitement of being a first time home buyer, there are indubitably many unanswered questions whirling around your mind. If that describes you, then our moving guide should help your transition into a first time home buyer run a little smoother. In this first time home buyer moving guide, you will learn about some of the loans available to first time home buyers use, how to effectively and efficiently pack up your old home, and must-haves for your new home.


New Homeowner Loans

The average first time home buyer can’t afford to pay for their first home in cash and have to take out a loan.

There are several different loans you can get to pay your first time mortgage. Some of the options include FHA loans, VA loans, conventional loans, and USDA loans. However, since the standard first time home buyer will likely get an FHA or conventional loan, those are the two types of loans we will focus on for this article.


FHA Loans

FHA loans are loans issued by a private lender and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). When you are granted an FHA loan, the United States government provides a guarantee to the lender in the event that you don’t pay back the loan in its entirety.

If you have a low credit score and cannot afford a 20% down payment, you might want to consider an FHA loan. The minimum credit score for an FHA loan is about 570 along with a 3.5% down payment. If you have the cash to make a larger down payment, you may even be able to get away with a lower credit score.

Well, if FHA loans are so great, why doesn’t everyone get one? Sure, FHA loans are attractive to many people for different reasons, but this type of loan also comes with its fair share of drawbacks.

For starters and arguably the main downside of FHA loans is that you will have to pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. You will also have restrictions on the home you can purchase when using an FHA loan. Many condos, for example, do not meet FHA approval standards for one reason or another.

Despite its few drawbacks, FHA loans are a great option for a first time home buyer who has little cash saved up for a down payment and has less than perfect credit.


Conventional Loans

Conventional loans, on the other hand, are not insured by the federal government. Instead, this type of loan adheres to guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Unlike an FHA loan, which you can only use to buy a primary residence, conventional loans can be used for the purchase of a primary or secondary residence as well as a rental home. You also don’t have to pay mortgage insurance with a down payment of 20% or more. Similarly, if you do have mortgage insurance, it can be canceled once the home’s equity reaches 20%. And the mortgage insurance for a conventional loan is lower than the mortgage insurance on an FHA loan.


Packing to Move


First things first: packing up your old place. Packing is probably one of the most stressful parts about moving, especially if you are ill-prepared. Check out our moving tips to help streamline the process.

Only pack what you need

Many people (myself included at times) have separation anxiety from their stuff. Even if they haven’t worn it or used it in years, donating or trashing something that you paid for or has sentimental value can be rather difficult. But there’s no need to pollute your new pad with stuff you don’t use. Schedule a pickup with a local charity or just drop it off at your nearest Goodwill.

Get boxes from your local liquor store or wholesale club

Let’s face it: the moving process is already expensive enough without having to splurge on overpriced moving supplies. Pay a visit to your local liquor store or wholesale club. Trust me, they will be happy to get rid of some of their many boxes.

Create a numbering system for your boxes

If you want to be a master organizer, create a numbering system for packing your boxes. You can use an Excel or Google Docs spreadsheet. Label each box with the location (kitchen, for example), and take it one step further by listing the contents on a spreadsheet (for example, box #12 has spatulas, pizza cutters, etc.).

pack to move


Change your address a few weeks before you move


This is one of those things that many people fail to do until they realize that something they ordered two weeks ago has yet to arrive. It’s crucial that your bank and insurance have your correct address, so start there. Of course, you can set up mail forwarding, but it’s best just to update your address.


Top Things New Homeowners Need


While the moving home checklist above is not comprehensive by any means, it is a good place to start. Next, you’ll need to make sure that your new home has a few essentials so that getting situated can be as easy as possible.


Extension cords

Power cords are rarely the length you need them to be. Several extension cords and power strips are a must-have for a first time home buyer.



There are many tasks you will encounter as a new homeowner that require a little artificial light and both hands. From changing the faucet to exploring the uncharted territory that is your home’s crawlspace and attic (which may or may not have electricity). Keep a headlamp at your house so that you can explore while having both hands free.


Fire extinguishers

Who knew that there were different fire extinguishers for different types of fires? Everyone except me, apparently. Good thing I’ve never seriously set anything on fire! From extinguishing wood, paper, or cooking oils, make sure that you have the right types of fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure you store it somewhere that’s easily accessible, too, not under the sink behind a bunch of cleaning supplies (like me).


Ladders and step stools

You shouldn’t take the cheap route when it comes to ladders. Consider how high you need to go, how heavy duty you need the ladder to be, and where you will be using the ladder.


Top things new homeowner needs


Being a first time buyer is both fun and overwhelming. However, with a little prior planning and proper execution, you can be relaxing in your new home in no time.



Related Articles:

Transitioning from renting to owning a home by Taryn Williford for Apartment Therapy

More People are choosing home ownership by Laura Kusisto for the Wall Street Journal


Today’s Real Estate article “Moving Guide: From a Renter to a Homeowner” 

Author’s Bio – Darlene Mase lives in Newnan, Georgia, a town 40 minutes south of Atlanta. In her spare time, she enjoys writing for her personal blog and for popular sites like When Darlene’s not writing, you can catch her outdoors with her husband and daughter or at the gym burning off the calories of something delicious she just ate.




Call Lynn at 954-464-1100 if you have questions about moving from a Renter to a Homeowner. Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate Agent serving Southeast Florida since 2005. You’ll find Lynn selling homes in Southeast Florida in the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation and Ft Lauderdale areas within Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Keller Williams Coral Springs Realty. Real Estate Promises Delivered. You can speak with Lynn by calling/texting her at 954-464-1100 or you can email her at: if you need to buy or sell a Southeast Florida home. Your local, trusted professional when it’s time to buy or sell a home.  Real Estate promises delivered.

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