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Timing is Everything: How to Time Your Move From a Rental Into Your Home

Buying or selling a home for yourself or your family can be a confusing and stressful time for all those involved. Especially as a first-time home buyer! There are so many different aspects to maneuver, it can be easy to get lost in the process. One of those aspects, at least for those who have previously been renters, is to figure out when you should give your 30-day notice to your property manager.

The timing of handing your notice to vacate to your landlord can be tricky, but hopefully, some of the advice I can give will help you be able navigate your closing like a pro.

One of the most common questions renters transitioning into homeowners have is how to time out their last month so that last month’s rent, and the first mortgage payment don’t overlap. This timing can be very tricky if your property manager requires more notice than a 30-day notice to vacate, but if not, the timing is not too difficult to work out.

The fact that mortgage payments are collected in arrears makes things much easier on renters. What that means is simply that instead of paying rent on the 1st of every month in advance for the COMING month, you pay your mortgage on the 1st of every month for the PREVIOUS month. In fact, after your closing, your first mortgage payment won’t be due until a full month after the last day of the month in which you closed. So, if you had a mid-July closing, your first mortgage wouldn’t be due until September 1st.

Typically, once a seller accepts your offer and the property goes under contract, it takes around 30-50 days to close on the property and get the keys to the house. The closing period is decided and agreed upon once you go under contract, the set closing date, however, can be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. Assuming all goes as planned though, here is what a smooth contract-to-closing timeline could look like:

  • Pay rent on April 1st like every month
  • Close on your home on April 25th, the last 5 days in April will be paid for at the closing table
  • Pay your rent on May 1st, and give your landlord your 30-day notice
  • Pay your first mortgage for the month of May on June 1st

With this timeline, you have access to both your previous rental, and your new home for the entire month of May. This makes for a much less rushed transition, and you avoid paying double housing expenses for May. Bumps in the road do unfortunately happen, however. Here is what a timeline could potentially look like if your closing happens to be delayed.

  • Pay rent on April 1st like every month
  • Find out on April 23rd that your closing is delayed
  • Pay rent on May 1st like every month
  • (Finally) close on May 15th! The last 15 days in May will be paid for at the closing table
  • Give your landlord your 30-day notice on May 16th
  • Make your last rental payment June 1st, depending on your lease either the prorated rent for half the month, or the full month
  • Pay your first mortgage for the month of June on July 1st

Again, you have access to your rental and your new home for a whole month, from the end of your closing to the end of your 30-day notice, May 16th-June 16th. Of course, if a 30-day notice is not what your lease specifies it can be much trickier to time everything out perfectly. Usually either time, money, or security will have to be compromised at least a bit to make it work.

I wish you all the best of luck finding the home that you love! We hope you keep Century 21 in mind while you are searching for someone to help you navigate the home buying experience. We would love to make finding your home an experience you enjoy.

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