Ok, it’s go time. Or is it? You’re ready to take the plunge. Or are you? You want a place to call your own, but when should you make it happen? Family and friends are pushing you to buy. You hear things like:
“It’s time for you to settle down.”
“You should buy so you can build equity, instead of throwing your money away on rent.”
“You’re ___ years old and still renting??”
Sound familiar? These social pressures are just as real today as they’ve ever been. Don’t let it get to you! Deep breath…deep breath. Buying your first house is a huge decision, and certainly not one to be taken lightly. While everyone’s in a different place financially, there are certainly some overall “boxes to check” to find out if the time is right for you to start house hunting. It’s a personal finances litmus test!
Presenting your ready to buy (or perhaps not yet) checklist:
Can you afford to buy?
Set aside a down payment?
Will you have some savings left over?
Can you live the way you’d like and cover the mortgage?
Okay with not having access to your equity anytime soon?
Considered real estate taxes?
Have extra funds for any home improvements?
Thought about having to buy furniture?
Can you afford the ongoing homeownership costs?
Able to pay for unexpected home repairs?
Able to cover monthly maintenance?
Can you pay any increase in monthly bills (gas, electric, water, internet)?
Thought out how bills may fluctuate with the seasons?
Ready to hang around for a while?
Happy with your city?
Do you have a solid job?
Like the neighborhood?
Looked into the school districts?
Researched how the housing market has done recently?
See yourself staying in the house for at least 5-7 years?
In a good spot financially?
Credit score solid?
Are you responsible with your money?
Credit cards under control?
Keeping up with your current debt payments?
Emergency fund set aside?
Okay with having a large long-term debt?
How many boxes were you able to check? All (or most) of them? Start looking for a realtor! Sounds like the time may be right for you.
If you still have a bit of work to do on some of these items, don’t get down on yourself. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to accomplish this goal. You may simply need to adjust what you’re doing a little to get there. If you’d like some guidance along the way, give us a call.