Buying a home is a huge life event. It’s definitely exciting, but it’s not something that one should rush into either. That’s because buying a home comes with a ton of responsibility, both financial and otherwise. Sure, there’s a lot that’s fun about buying a home, like picking out your neighborhood, dream house (or starter home), and decorating it to your liking. But before you get to that point, there’s also a lot to consider to make sure you’re truly ready.
Here are a few things first-time home-buyers should think about:
- Is the timing right? When it comes to buying a home, timing is everything. Many people rush into buying a home because it feels like an adult thing to do, other people around them are buying homes, or because they have a little money saved up and no longer want to rent. But financially, you want to make sure that all your ducks are in a row. That means that you not only have the savings to put a downpayment down on a home, you also have the income to sustain making your mortgage payments, as well as any work that needs to go into the home. Repairs are something people don’t often consider, but when it comes to home-owning, they should be! Owning a home means keeping up with a home. If you don’t, your investment will slowly deteriorate.
- What is my price range? Figuring out exactly what you can afford is pretty important. You can’t turn back the clock after you purchase a home and getting in over your head is an all-too-common mistake that first-time home-buyers make. Yes, we’d all love to be able to afford our dream homes right out of the gate but for most of us, it’s not reality. Buying what you can afford, and nothing more, is satisfying, though. Putting in the work to make your home a great place to live, while keeping your “dream house” goals in view makes it even more fulfilling when you finally get there. Remember, it’s not a race.
- What’s my five-year plan? There are plenty of bad reasons why people rush into home-buying or think they’re ready before they truly are. But one of the best ways to know for sure is if you feel ready to stay put for five years, at least. If you aren’t, it may be best to wait it out. Selling your home too soon can mean you end up with little or no equity. One of the best ways to avoid this happening is by taking your time and work with a qualified, local real estate agent who can advise you.