Are You Ready to Buy a Home?
The people making those statements and asking those questions may mean well, but oftentimes they fail to realize that not all circumstances and lifestyles are created equally.
Buying a home can be a great move for most, but not for everyone. What's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander when it comes to homeownership.
Before you download those home search apps, talk to a mortgage lender, and attend open houses, it's important to self-evaluate your current lifestyle and financial situation.
Answering these FIVE simple questions will help you determine if you're ready to take the next step in buying a home.
1. Are My Finances in Order?
Do you pay your bills on time? Do you have reserves in the bank?
If you're two months late on your car payment, adding a mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repair costs to your monthly expenses will only add to your money troubles.
If you have to beg, borrow, and steal (please don't!) to come up with a down payment, you're likely not in a position to buy a home right now. It's important to have the ability to save money before you start looking at homes in your favorite neighborhood.
If your answer to this question is "no", stop right here, it's time to work on this.
2. Do I Move a Lot?
Are you ready to tie yourself down to a particular home in a particular neighborhood in a particular city?
Will your career force you to move within the next five years?
The general rule of thumb is to make plans to stay in a home for at least five years in order to break even after you account for closing costs, moving costs, the cost of remodeling, and the cost of selling.
If you can't see yourself living in the same home in the same neighborhood in the same city for the next five years, you may want to reconsider that purchase.
3. Am I Emotionally Stable?
This may seem like a silly question when considering buying a home, but it's a big one!
Do you plan on buying a home with your significant other?
While there's no crystal ball for relationships, you may want to reconsider buying if your relationship is already "on the rocks."
If you think a change of environment is what's needed to recharge your relationship, consider renting another home and see how things work out before committing to a large investment like buying a home.
Remember, the general rule of thumb is to make plans to stay in a home for at least five years to break even.
If you can't see yourself living with X for another five months, let alone five years, DO NOT BUY A HOME with X.
Save yourself the money, time, and headaches.
4. What Are the Opportunity Costs of Owning a Home?
When you buy a home, you'll need money for a down payment, as well as property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repair costs.
What kind of long-term return could you expect if instead of buying a home you invested that money in the stock market?
If your rent is cheaper than a potential mortgage, you may be able to invest the difference elsewhere and earn a better return over the long term instead of "putting all your eggs in one basket". Something to consider...
5. What's Happening in My Market?
Before asking this question, you must define what your market is.
You may have heard about the three rules of real estate - location, location, location. The real estate market not only varies from city to city, it varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, and housing type to housing type.
The market for single-family homes in Healdsburg is drastically different from the market for condos in Rohnert Park.
Is it a buyer's market or a seller's market in the area or neighborhood you're interested in buying a home in?
Is it a renter's market or a landlord's market?
Knowing what's happening in the market you want to buy a home in is a major key when deciding if now is the right time to buy in said market.
Ready to Move Out or Up?
Buying a home is a personal decision. These five questions are just the beginning. We can help you devise a plan for moving with just a short conversation, on the phone or over a cup of coffee.
You have enough to worry about. Moving shouldn't be one of them.
Schedule an appointment to meet with us today.
We can help you devise a stress-free plan to move within your desired time frame. Let's talk.