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Take the plunge into homeownership!

February 27, 2020

Transitioning from renting into homeownership can feel like a huge undertaking. From timing to finding the right location and features to figuring out financing, buying your first home is one of the most exciting decisions that you will ever make. You might be more ready than you thought to take the plunge into homeownership. And with the recent drop in interest rates, there's no better time than the present to get even greater value!

Renting a home or apartment might seem like the easier option, but what does “easy” get you? And why does homeownership feel like it’s difficult?

A homeowner can reap so many benefits in both the short and long terms. Start with the freedom to fully personalize your home. It’s yours! You don’t need a landlord’s permission. More importantly, a home is an investment, which means you gain from it. The only one who gains from renting is the landlord, because your rent check is paying his mortgage and giving him a comfy profit as well.

SImply put, buying a home is more economical than paying rent monthly. With what you spend for rent, you could be paying a mortgage and gaining valuable equity. 

Rent vs. buy a home

Rent doesn’t help you achieve the stable financial foundation you want to build. It’s an expense, not an investment that delivers a return. According to, the average rent for an 882-square-foot apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan is $1,597 per month, which works out to $1.81 per square foot.

Now, imagine living in a brand new townhome in Ann Arbor with 2,138 square feet, like the one at 2547 West Towne Street. Your monthly mortgage would be $1,364.74*, which amounts to 64 cents a square foot.  Get all that space with modern finishes and a 2-car garage, and it’s LESS than the tiny apartment!

How about owning a single-family home? Chelsea, MI, is a wonderful Ann Arbor suburb with a charming downtown and great schools. For less than the cost to rent, you could own a home in Westchester Farms, our scenic community of new construction homes in Chelsea. We’re currently building a 2-story beauty at 19902 Danube Court that offers 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a center island kitchen, gas fireplace, deck, and luxurious master suite. This 1,919-square-foot home could be yours for a monthly mortgage payment of $1,334.02*.

We have a new construction home for sale in Spring Arbor that’s even less! Priced at just $296,900, the 2,003-square-foot home at 7529 King Road in our Pine Meadows community could be yours for $1,066.57 per month. That’s more than twice the space of the apartment for 53 cents a square foot instead of $1.81 that the apartment costs.

Remember: Rent increases every year. A mortgage payment with a fixed rate never changes!

As home prices increase—and the projected trend is for them to keep increasing at a steady rate—buying now means you have an almost guaranteed opportunity to gain equity on your home. If and when the time comes, you’ll be able to sell it for more than you paid. Keep in mind that owning a home and paying toward a mortgage not only helps create equity but also build good credit with your banking institution. 

Whether you are moving from a dorm, apartment, rental house, or a relative’s home, this is an opportunity to find a space that is truly yours in a location that works for you. Getting away from your landlord and becoming your own boss at home is just an added bonus.

Trust the local homebuilder

Taking the leap into homeownership might seem intimidating but working with an experienced lender makes it easy. Start by getting pre-approved, which takes about 15 minutes and lets you know how much mortgage you can expect to qualify for. From there, look at Norfolk Homes’ wide range of homes for sale in Ann Arbor and the surrounding suburbs. Our homeowners know they can trust us, because we’ve been a local homebuilder here for 27 years. We’re part of the community, not a franchise.

Kick the rent habit. Look at our communities, floor plans, and move-in ready homes for sale right now. Then contact Norfolk Homes to put your money to work for you while you relax in your own home.

*The principal and interest payment example is based on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage with a 20% down payment (80% loan to value) with an assumed interest rate of 3.5%. Example does not include any discount or origination points or other lenders costs. Taxes and insurance premiums are not included in the monthly payment. No private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required in this example. 30 year mortgages are amortized over a 360-month period.

It was great meeting with the two of you the other day. We had a blast picking out our options and are really excited to move forward on our home.

Byran & Rebecca