Don’t underestimate the challenges involved with transitioning from renting to owning. You might think that because you’ve already lived in a space of your own, it’s much the same. But a lot changes when your name is on the deeds to the property.

Don’t rush

Just because your lease is up, doesn’t mean you need to purchase a property this very minute. Buying a property is a big investment, regardless of whether it’s a house or an apartment. Take the time to do your research and visit open home inspections. Speak to a mortgage broker and real estate agents and keep your eye out for property listing websites so you don’t miss out.

Purchasing a house takes an average of six weeks from the time your offer has been accepted to the moment you hand over your deposit and receive the keys. Be sure to factor this in to your plans as the settlement date can be pushed further back to allow for conveyancing, negotiations or the previous owner’s plans.

Set money aside

Owning your property comes with the responsibility to cover all of the expenses yourself. Any renovations that need to happen and all the bills you receive will need to be factored in. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and spend over your limit and try and keep a safety buffer.

Mortgage repayments can work differently to rent payments too. Generally, rent is due at the beginning of the month that you will be living there. With mortgage, you can set up the payments to make them monthly, fortnightly or even weekly depending on what works best for you. Budgeting will make it easier to handle any financial issues that arise in the future.

Timing the end of your lease

Timing this will be difficult as you won’t know settlement date until you receive the contract to the house and both parties have agreed. Plan for every financial situation possible so you don’t have to worry about paying your rent months in advance if you’re not going to be living there. You might even want to pay rent for an extra week and overlap that with settlement so you have time to pack and move your things. Let your landlord know as soon as possible when you’ll be leaving, you might be able to work out a deal.