Finding the right home can be complicated enough, but your current rental agreement adds a new layer of complexity. To help you transition from renter to owner of a property just for you, let’s go over how to buy a house if you’re currently stuck in a lease:
Before you get anything going, the best thing you can do is thoroughly read your lease from beginning to end.
If you have any questions about the lease, ask your landlord about the details. In the event that you have a combative landlord, but have already hired a qualified and experienced real estate agent, your agent may be able to assist in your understanding of your rental agreement so you don’t get stuck in a lease long-term.
At this point in time, the important points to catch in your lease include any timeframe and requirements for notice of vacating the rental property, any financial penalties, and specifics regarding final inspection to receive your security deposit.
Start a Dialogue
With your overwhelming knowledge of your lease agreement in mind, talk to your landlord and let them know what’s going on.
If they’re professional, they will be understanding of your situation and work with you to make everything quick and easy for both of you. If they have any concerns, try to meet them with the consideration you were hoping to receive at the beginning of this conversation.
Keep in mind that it is extremely unlikely that you’re the first person to move out of their properties while purchasing your own home, so they’ve been through this before and should be able to work things out for themselves as long as you’re following the stipulations of your lease.
Keep Communication Open
Once you seriously start looking at homes to purchase, it’s a good idea to keep everyone in the loop.
This includes your landlord, real estate agent, and your builder if you’re working with one. The last thing you need is a pause in progress because one of these parties was not informed of what’s going on.
The idea of keeping your landlord up-to-speed is to hopefully reduce or remove any obstacles that could come up during the process of you purchasing your home and leave you stuck in a lease.
An area where you may have a little more control over how things go is scheduling when you vacate your lease and the closing date on your new home.
Try your best to work with your landlord to line up the vacating of your lease while also working with the home sellers on an appropriate closing date that works for both of you.
With a little effort, chances are you’ll be able to line things up where you can move into your new home after closing and just before vacating your lease.
If you have tried all of the above recommendations when dealing with your landlord and they are absolutely refusing to work with you, there are still options.
This could mean you need to buy out the remainder of your lease or pay a penalty for breaking your lease early. You could try finding a replacement tenant to take over your lease, which is called subleasing. If you opt for subleasing, do both a credit and background check on the potential tenant.
Finally, do note that subleasing isn’t legal in all areas, so you’ll first need to find out if it’s possible for you to do that.
Get Help If You’re Stuck in a Lease
Sometimes you’ll hear horror stories of tenants attempting to get out of their lease in order to move into their new home. If you worry you may be stuck in a lease when buying a home, contact us at 866-593-7012.