How to Know if You’re Ready To Buy A Home

You probably have a lot of things on your mind when you’re deciding if you are ready to buy a house. You’re probably thinking about your finances, mortgage rates, home prices, and the limited number of homes available for sale. You’re trying to decide how all these factors will affect your choice. While housing market conditions may play a role in your decision, it’s likely that your own life and finances are more important. According to an article by NerdWallet, “Housing market trends provide important context.” It also depends on the financial situation you are in, your life goals, and whether or not you’re ready to become a home owner. Here are some questions that will help you decide if you’re ready to move forward. Do You Feel Stable in Your Job? One thing to consider is your level of stability. You’re about to make a large purchase and sign a loan to buy a house. This can seem like a huge responsibility. You can feel more at ease knowing that you have a job and income that is reliable. NerdWallet says: “A mortgage is a huge commitment. . . Wait until you have a stable job before considering buying a home.”2. Talk to a trusted mortgage lender to get a better idea of how much you can afford and what you will need to save. They can tell you more about the preapproval process, how much you can borrow, the current mortgage rates, the approximate monthly payments to expect, the closing costs you should anticipate, the percent of the price of the house you will need as a downpayment, and so on. You don’t have to put down 20% unless your lender or loan type specifies it. Down Payment Resource states: “A 20% down payment is great, but. . . Most mortgages only require a downpayment of 3% to 5%. There are also grants and loans that can help cover these costs. Find out if your area offers down payment assistance and then discuss the results with your mortgage lender. . .”3. How long do you plan to live there? Another important factor to consider is how long your plan to stay. It takes time to build equity by paying off your loan and increasing the value of your home. You may not be able to recoup all of your investment if you plan on moving too soon. If you plan to sell your home and move again within a year, buying now might not be the best idea. According to a recent CNET article: “Buying a house is a good decision if you plan to stay in the same place for at least three more years.” You could end up paying more for closing costs than the proceeds you would earn if you sold after a year or so. So, think about your own future. You should also consider whether you will be moving to a new area for a promotion or to be closer to your family. Finding a local agent and lender you can trust is a great first step. The help of real estate professionals is your best and most reliable resource.

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