Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions anyone can make. Not only is it a costly endeavor, it’s also time consuming. From going through the home buying process all the way through making repairs and renovations on your new home, there is a lot to do and consider when taking the plunge into home ownership. If you’re wondering, “Should I rent or buy a house?” here are few factors to consider.
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You’re emotionally ready
Buying a home is more than just making a massive purchase – it affects your entire lifestyle. There is freedom that comes with owning your own home, but there is also a lot of responsibility. You’re also tethered to the home for a decent amount of time, and it can end up costing you more to sell quickly than it would be if you lived there for the extent of your mortgage. If you are unsure about your career, family situation, or any other factors in your life that may uproot you and take you elsewhere, now might not be the time to purchase a home. But, if you’re planning to be at your job a while and you’re set on planting your roots in a particular area, purchasing a home may be the right decision for you.
You’re physically ready
The purchase of a home, whether it’s your first or your fifth, will be a time-consuming process. And, in a seller’s market, you may find yourself competing with other buyers for homes that will sell in a matter of a single day. Be ready to spend your nights (the best day of the week to look is Thursday) scouring the internet or your realtor’s MLS for homes that fit your criteria, and making appointments with your realtor multiple times a week to see all the homes on your list. Not only is the process of looking time consuming, but so is the process of filling out paperwork and gathering your finances all until closing day. And, lest we forget the repairs that may need to be done to the home once you’re inside. If you feel energized and have the time on your hands to make these moves, you’re probably ready to purchase a home. Don’t be discouraged if your offer is rejected the first few times – the market is competitive right now, and with a little vigor, you’ll find yourself in your dream home soon.
You’re financially ready
Of course, finances do play a role in the process, and it’s definitely not a small role. You don’t want to end up in a sticky situation with your finances, so making sure you’re secure is a must. Your monthly mortgage payments should be less than a third of your monthly income, so use that as a guide to see what you can realistically afford, regardless of what you’re approved for. If you have a decent savings in the bank, a great credit score, little or no debt, and a steady income, you’re probably a good candidate to be approved for a mortgage.