How renters can make their homebuying dreams a reality

At the end of 2021, the U.S Census Bureau reported that 74% of households rent in South Carolina owned their residence. That is an encouraging number. But for many, homeownership is a goal they aspire to, feeling more like an impossible dream rather than an achievable goal. This can be especially true for renters.

Renters often spend years wishing they could avoid paying landlords and instead invest in something they can call their own. After a few months or even years of making substantial rent payments, many renters start wondering if they'll ever be ready to take the leap into homeownership. Well, you can!

While buying a home is a big step, and the process is a bit more complex than renting an apartment, with assistance from South Carolina Federal Credit Union, homeownership could be well within your reach.

Here are some of the most common fears renters have about buying, and why they shouldn't let those fears hold them back from starting the homebuying process:

I can afford to pay my rent every month, but I’m not sure I could afford a mortgage payment.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that a mortgage payment will be more expensive than your rent. If the amount you currently pay for rent makes sense for your budget, let your lender know that you would like your total mortgage payment (including property taxes, homeowner's insurance and private mortgage insurance, if needed) to be equal to or less than what you're currently paying in rent.

Your lender should be able to give you a target price range for a home that will keep your monthly payments right where you want them, which will give you a solid understanding of how much house you can afford.

I don't have any money saved for a down payment.

One of the most common assumptions about the homebuying process is that buyers must have a down payment equal to 20% of the purchase price of their home. Fortunately, this isn't true – many buyers put down just 3 to 5%, and there are even zero down options making home affordability within reach.

For example, South Carolina Federal offers 100% financing for well-qualified buyers. If you meet the requirements, you could purchase a home without a down payment.

Ask about the different financing options we offer and if there is any assistance available for first-time buyers. If you'd like to learn more about our 100% financing option, give our mortgage team a call at 843.569.5145.

I've heard it's not a good time to buy a home right now because of the market.

It's true that low inventory and higher prices have put pressure on the housing market. But that doesn't mean that now isn't the right time to buy a house, especially as interest rates are expected to continue rising this year.

If you're ready to start the homebuying process and want to be sure you are prepared to compete with other buyers, work with a local financial institution to get pre-approved. This will send a strong message to sellers that you are serious about buying and help you focus your search on homes in your price range.

If you are a renter or a first-time homebuyer, our mortgage team is here to help you navigate the home buying process with ease. Visit or give us a call at 843.569.5145 to see how we can help make your dream of owning a home someday a reality today.

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