Buying a home isn’t an easy task and it can be even harder when you aren’t properly prepared for it. When planning for such a large purchase, there are a number of things you should consider before getting started.
Here are a few things that should be considered.
Are Your Finances in Order?
Before buying a home it’s important that all of your finances are in order. Tasks like paying off student loan debt, paying off any other debt, and building an emergency fund for 3-6 months worth of living expenses should be on your to do list prior to purchasing a home.
It’s also important to figure out the difference between what you can afford and what is affordable for your budget before looking for a home as this will give you a better idea of what you should be spending on a home.
Do You Have Enough Saved?
Next, you’re going to want to make sure you have enough saved. When purchasing a home, you will most likely be required to provide a down payment of at least 5-20% of the home’s purchase price, which can be a high price tag depending on how expensive of a home you plan to buy.
Keep in mind that a down payment is not the only other expense you’ll have. You can also expect to pay closing costs that can vary anywhere between 3-6% of the home’s purchase price.
Can You Afford the Costs?
You’ll also want to ask yourself if you are able to afford living in a home. Yes, you’ll have to pay a mortgage and home insurance. But you also want to factor in utility bills, maintenance costs, the need for appliances and furniture, and much more.
Are You Ready to Settle Down?
A general rule of thumb is that a home buyer should expect to live in their new home for at least five years to truly make up for transaction costs and break-even.
If you don’t foresee yourself staying put in one location for a few years, home ownership may not be the best choice for you and perhaps you should consider renting instead.
Can You Keep Up with the Maintenance?
What may be a perk to some, others may consider a downfall. When you own your own home, you are now responsible for the upkeep and fixing any problems that arise. If your roof leaks, you’ll be the one that needs to call in a roofer to see if it can be patched or an entirely new roof is needed, which can be quite expensive.
If you’re ready to take on the potential problems that may arise within a home and the costs that go with them, then it could be time for you to start shopping for homes.
Are You Ready to Buy a House?
Buying a home is a big step that takes a lot of planning. If you have been asking yourself, “Should I rent or buy a house” and can now confidently answer “yes” to the above questions, then you are probably ready to start house hunting. But if not, renting also has plenty of perks too.