Sometimes we need a push towards making important decisions and commitments. We often wait for an elusive certainty that will most likely never arrive. Don’t wait for the stars to align and reveal that you’re ready to buy your first home. Take some time to deliberately evaluate where you are, where you’re going, and whether buying a house is in your near future.
The First Time Homebuyer Equation
There are different telltale signs that you’re ready to buy your first home. We have two simplified questions that represent two sides of the equation. Can you afford it and are you in the right place in life?
Can you afford it?
There are many considerations you should take into account when you question whether you can afford to buy a home. You should having an understanding of your own personal financial situation as well as the costs of buying and maintaining a home. If you’re not quite clear on either one, take some time to review your finances and do more research into homebuying. Here is a quick assessment to help you consider where you’re at and where you need to be.
Down for a down payment: Can you afford a down payment? And more importantly, do you know your down payment options? It doesn’t have to be 20 percent down.
Prepared for mortgage payments: Have you factored in the mortgage payments to your budget as well as the additional homebuying costs?
Employment over funemployment: Do you have steady employment to ensure that you will be able to make continual payments? This will also help ensure you get a good loan because you will look great on paper to mortgage lenders.
Savings over cravings: It’s not just a question about whether you have savings. It’s a consideration of whether they are accessible. If you have a savings account for retirement with restrictions on it, you might not be able to access those funds for house payments. Or if your savings are almost entirely invested, make sure you have an emergency fund.
Undoubtedly debt-free: If you’ve paid off student loans, and don’t cross over into credit card debit, then you
Credit savvy: Are you on top of your credit score? Do you know whether you have a good credit score or how you can improve it if necessary?
Can cover maintenance: Understand what maintenance costs or even renovations might be necessary with owning a home. Make sure you can afford to make necessary or helpful home repairs.
Are you in the right place in life?
This is both a literal and figurative question to consider. Are you in the right place in life to make an exciting, but long-term commitment? Is this something you’ve been working towards or just deeply considered for the first time last week? The decision to buy a house is also incredibly tied to your literal location as well as thoughts of “where you are in life”. Do you want to settle down, for possibly 4-6 years in the town where you currently live? Here’s a few questions to help you reflect on where you are now.
#goals: Have you made a list of your priorities lately? Whether owning your own home and settling into a specific location long-term is high on the list or not quite there yet, it helps to see it written down.
Own it: Are you over renting? If you’ve had difficult landlords and unresponsive property management companies, there are many ways that you can imagine making better decisions about your own home. Are you itching for the freedom to renovate, paint, and truly make your house a home?
Step up the responsibility: One of the joys of growing up is getting past petty jokes about “adulting” and stepping up into the responsibility and autonomy you have as an adult. Buying a home offers exciting options for how you want to live your life and what you want it to look like. Responsibility never seemed so desirable.
Security and stability: Do you crave the security and stability of owning your own home? It’s a big decision, but when you’re ready for it it can be natural and easy to dig into the information, get your ducks in a row, and take the leap. It’s a good feeling to go from indecisive to driven. Is this something you really want to make happen?
In the family way: If you have kids, a baby on the way, or hope to have kids in the near future, buying a home is incredibly appealing. There’s no doubt that your dreams of creating a life for your whole family will likely involve homeownership.
Now — where to begin?
Start with our house hunting checklist and learn about what True Homes has to offer as a home builder that is dedicated to offering you choices, quality, and resources in your homebuying journey!