Are you ready to buy a home?

by - September 21, 2016

Home ownership is a big life decision, and you need to be fully aware of the commitment it requires before you sign on the dotted line. 

Even when you can afford to purchase a home, it may not be the best move for you right now. In some areas renting may still be more economical than buying. You have to look at your take-home pay and living costs—and how those numbers will change when you move buy your own home.
I am not trying to discourage you but rather to help you think things through. Are you really ready, emotionally and financially, to step up and make your move?

Here are some basic yet important things to do before you buy a home:
  • Career stability. If your employment situation feels secure and you're prepared to stay in one place for a while, you might be ready to buy.  Remember that raises don't always happen and careers change. So don't base the amount of home you buy on future income.
  • Commitment to your area. General advice recommends not buying a house unless you can picture yourself living there for at least five to 10 years.The longer you can envision yourself staying in any particular house, the better your odds of not being financially strained when it comes time to sell.
  • Timing. Finding the perfect market conditions to buy a home is a little harder and riskier. You could decide to wait to buy a home because prices went up, but then prices go up further and you can no longer afford a home in the area you want. As long as you plan on living in your home for 10-plus years, buy a home when you want to and where you want to, as long as you stick to your affordable payment range.  Source: Investopedia
  • Knowing yourself. Life plans and personal tastes take a while to evolve. Don’t rush into home-buying unless you have a good handle on what you want for the long term.
  • Affordability. This is an entirely different area of discussion; but if the rand and cents don’t add up, not all the elements for buying a home are in place. While 100% financing may be possible, it may not be wise. It's important you are comfortable with the monthly home loan payments. Remember, when you’re a homeowner, you also need to include homeowners insurance, property taxes and homeowners association dues in your housing costs. 
If you take the time to make sure you are financially and emotionally ready to buy a home, you will enjoy being a homeowner. It does take extra work and sacrifice to be able to afford a home, but it is worth it. Be sure that you do a sample budget and that you have extra money set aside for closing costs and then home repairs. A realtor can help you through the entire process, once you are ready to purchase a home.

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