Can I Break My Lease With a Purchase of a Home?

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Finding your dream home can be an exciting occasion. If you have a lease on a property, it may be necessary to break the lease to purchase a home. There are disadvantages and advantages to breaking a lease to buy a home, which depend heavily on your personal and financial circumstances.

Finding a Home

  • Searching for a new home can be a challenge. Finding a quality home in a safe neighborhood can prove a difficult feat in fast growing neighborhoods. By areating a list in advance of the features you want in your new property, your housing search narrows down immensely. Buyers take months, sometimes years, to locate the right property. When you find a home that meets your requirements, it is sometimes better to pursue the opportunity immediately rather than allow another buyer to steal your dream home.

Breaking Your Lease

  • Breaking your lease means breaking a legally binding contract with your landlord. Your landlord has the right to impose penalty fees once you decide to break the lease. Depending on the terms of your lease contract, these fees can be costly. In addition to paying penalty fees, you may forfeit your security deposit, which is usually returned if a property is left in pristine condition. Try to give your landlord or property manager advanced notice regarding your new opportunity in order to lessen the blows of you breaking the lease contract. The earlier you notify the landlord, the sooner he can replace you as a tenant. Keeping a positive relationship ensures that you can use your landlord as a reference in the future, if needed.

Financial Recovery

  • The financial impacts of breaking your lease are often less severe near the end of your lease term. If you can wait to make an offer on your home until your lease is almost up, you can decrease fees and potentially negotiate the return of your security deposit. Before giving your landlord notice, be sure your purchase offer is accepted. Homes in prime locations are more likely to receive multiple offers, which increases the competition for your home. If you are not preapproved for a mortgage loan, do not break your lease before your loan officer confirms that you can pay for the home. Breaking your lease only to find that you are denied a mortgage loan is disheartening.

Considerations

  • Weigh the financial pros and cons of breaking your lease to buy a home. Some homes make great investments and should be pursued immediately, while other houses are a dime a dozen. Breaking the lease at the beginning of the lease term costs substantially more than waiting until the middle or end of your contract term to depart. When you break your lease to buy a house, you owe the lender fees, earnest money and a down payment to purchase the home plus any penalty charges owed to your landlord. If breaking your lease means exhausting your savings, it may not be worth the effort.

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