Your friends and family may emphasize how buying your first home is a milestone and an expensive endeavor, but how can you know when it’s the right time to buy? There are a few important things to consider before you pick a home and start packing. Below are some tips and advice to help you know when you’re ready to make that big first purchase.
- Your finances are in order
Houses are expensive and being able to afford them is a pre-requisite to moving in, but it’s a little more complex than that. You’ll have to make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, but also understand how much the home will cost you to pay it off. What is better for you, a 15 year mortgage or a 30 year mortgage?
You also need to factor in property taxes and homeowners insurance. You can buy the home, but there are other things you’ll need to buy with it and be able to afford those as well. Consider remodeling costs if you’ll need to fix up the house and also HOA fees. Houses are more complex cost-wise and it’s essential to consider how you’ll be able to afford each expense. Be sure you base your home buying costs with your actual budget not just what you can afford.
- You’ve shopped around
You may be ready to purchase one of the first homes you view because you’re excited about buying your first home. We hope you’re excited, but weigh your options before choosing and look at several models. Seek homes within your price range so you know you can afford the ones you’re hoping to buy. You wouldn’t want to walk inside a million-dollar home, fall in love with it, and lose interest in homes you can afford.
Know what you’re looking for in a home and make a list of pros and cons to narrow down your options. Remaining in budget with several choices can help make this process easier and more efficient.
- You’re in it for the long-run
You should expect to live in your home for at least 5 years if you’re buying a new house. If you’re a frequent traveler or know you’ll want to move again before that time, then a smaller home, such as a condo or townhouse may be a better fit for you. As we’ve said, homes are expensive, and you should move into one when you know you’re committed to living in it for a while. Buying a home is not a temporary or short-term option; know your plans before making your purchase.
- You’re ready to commit
Is buying a home a financial responsibility you’re ready to commit to? Are you ready to move from your current home? Moving out can be a difficult step for first-time homebuyers if they’re transitioning from their parent’s house and becoming more independent. It can also be difficult for homebuyers who are fond of their apartment or current home. Ask yourself if you’re ready to commit to this new financial responsibility and if you’re ready to move into a new space to call your own.
When you’re ready to buy your first home, let me know and I can help you make a good financial and personal decision about this huge purchase.