You are ready to buy a home. Right? Not right? Maybe?! How DO you know when you are ready to make one of the largest financial decisions of your life?
Restate the prompt. Instead of: “Am I ready to buy a home?” Ask: “Am I prepared for what homeownership entails?”
Homeownership entails many short- and long-term responsibilities: Investment of time. Repairs. Yard maintenance. Being part of a neighborhood and community. HOA regulations and payments. Insurance. Weatherproofing. Pool maintenance. Property Taxes. Receiving guests. Aesthetics.
To check if you a prepared for these responsibilities, honestly answer the following four questions:
- Are your finances in order? This is not a question that solicits a subjective response. Objectively – are your finances in order? If your debt pressures you to borrow money (i.e.: use a credit card) to meet your monthly financial responsibilities (ex.: transportation; food; utilities), then you are not ready to purchase a home. Your current financial obligations are too great to add the liability of homeownership. You read that correctly – a real estate broker is urging you NOT to purchase a home if you are unable to pay your current expenses.
- If your finances are in order, do you have monetary savings? This is not a question that disappears with the response: “Oh, I’m going to get a mortgage that requires $0 down.” Objectively – do you have enough savings for closing costs, the activation of utilities, moving expenses, furnishings, etc.? If your finances are in order and you have thousands of dollars in savings, then you may be ready to purchase a home.
- If your finances are in order and you have money in the bank, are you handy or resourceful? This is not a question that only can be answered “yes” by someone who can install a garbage disposal, repair a concrete step, and replace a torn window screen. This question can be answered “yes” by those who can find and pay other responsible parties to complete repairs and upgrades.
- If you are able to answer “yes” to the first three questions, then a subjective question remains: Are you ready to settle down? This is not a question that must be answered with “Yes, this is my forever home.” This is a question that hopefully yields an answer of “Yes, for at least a few years.”
So, are you ready for homeownership? Are you prepared to enjoy your home or are you setting yourself up for enormous headaches and heartaches.
Rybak Realty and its agents are ready to help you navigate the homebuying process, but we are also available to be your sounding board in deciding whether you are prepared to rent or buy. Let us help you reach your dream of homeownership whether it is in the upcoming year or four years down the road.