How to Know When You’re Ready to Buy a House
Maybe you’ve outgrown your current space or you want a fenced-in yard. Maybe you think it’s time to “settle down.” Maybe you just can’t walk by a display of paint samples without imagining how much better your morning coffee would be in a kitchen of your favorite shade of yellow. Whatever the reason, you’ve started thinking about buying a house and you’re wondering…am I ready? We can’t answer that for you, but we have put together a list of important questions to ask yourself before you embark on the journey to a new home.
First and foremost, ask yourself, “Do I want to be a homeowner?” This may seem obvious, but it needs to be addressed. Homeownership is often considered part and parcel of the American dream, but the truth is that it’s not right for everybody. It can be intense, involving a lot more time, effort and cost than renting, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Which brings us to the second question: “Am I responsible enough?” Even your dream home is going to come with a host of routine maintenance that your landlord probably took care of before – not to mention unpleasant surprises like a flooded basement. Be honest with yourself when you consider whether you’re up for the job.
If you answered, “Yes” to both of those questions, it’s time to talk finance. Your next question should be, “Am I financially prepared to buy a house?” You’ll need a good credit score to obtain a mortgage, and a secure job with a stable income to make your payments each month. A better credit score can result in lower interest rates, meaning you’ll pay less for your home overall.
You’ll also need some money in the bank just to get started. Be prepared to cover your down payment cost, as well as additional costs such as closing fees, home inspection and moving expenses. It doesn’t hurt to have some savings tucked away in case of emergencies, either. Mid-July in Minnesota is not when you want to find yourself strapped for cash with a broken AC.
At this stage, you might ask yourself, “Does this investment make sense?” Are you planning to live in the area for at least the next 4 to 5 years? If not, we wouldn’t advise buying a house until you land somewhere you’d love to call home for a while. The upfront and extraneous costs associated with homeownership don’t make financial sense if you’re planning to move around.
Buying a home can be an enormous undertaking, but one that comes with enormous benefits too. Without the right resources and information, you can often feel stressed. The Desrochers Realty Group will guide you through the entire home buying experience. A good place to start: our website. We provide buyer tips, a mortgage calculator, a trusted vendors list, and more.