How to Know When You're Ready to Buy a House

When should you buy a house? How will you know when you’re ready? There are two important things you should know about buying a home. First off, don’t jump into it because you feel like it’s what you’re supposed to be doing. All of your friends are buying a house? Good for them. That doesn’t mean you have to. But there are a few good reasons you might want to, and we’ll discuss those in a minute.

 

The second thing you should know about buying a house is that you’ll probably never feel ready. Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you might make in life—it’s a huge deal. And as it is with most things that intimidate us, you’ll probably always have enough nerves surrounding it that you may never feel like you’re ready to pull the trigger. But that’s ok.

 

All great ideas that feel a little bigger than we are can scare us off at first. But tackling them is what takes us to the next level in life. So the real question is whether or not being a homeowner is part of your vision. If it is, then the right amount of research and advice can help give you the confidence you need to make it happen. Here are a few starting tips.

 

Financially, when should I buy a house?

There are a few financial things you might want to have in order, before you consider buying a house. Here are some of the major ones.

 

Pay down your debts

Try to make sure that all of your credit cards are low or that you’re able to pay them off monthly. It’s also good to have low debt in other places, like a car loan—but keep in mind that paying off your car loan or other personal loans completely could lower your credit for a while. Especially if you don’t have other, similar loans contributing to your credit mix. So you might consider lowering those debts, but not paying them off just yet. Just make sure you have the power to do so when it’s time.

 

Monitor your credit score

Paying down your debts will help improve your credit score by reducing your debt-to-credit ratio. But consider other things that might also affect your credit score. It’s best not to have multiple hard checks on your credit report, so avoid doing things like applying for new credit cards or buying a car.

 

Check-in with your budget

Have an idea of what your budget for a new house would be. You can do this by getting pre-approved for a home loan (this shouldn’t require a hard credit check, make sure to find a provider that won’t). Before you try to get pre-approved though, get an idea of your monthly expenses and how much debt you have. You’ll also want to consider how many people will be on the title. If two people are listed on a title, their total incomes will be considered—but both credit scores and total household debt will also play a factor.

 

Personally, when should I buy a house?

Even if you’re financially set to be a homeowner, are you fully prepared on a more personal level? Well, first off—don’t think that you need to have certain boxes checked off before you become a homeowner. Most of what dictates your personal readiness to own a home, is you. That said, here are a few things to consider.

 

Do you love where you live?

If you’ve spent a good long while in a certain area (or maybe it was love at first sight and you know you have no plans of leaving), then it might be time to start planting roots. You pay thousands of dollars to rent every year, and that’s money that could be going to your own personal investment. So if you love where you live, consider what buying a home there might be like.

 

Do you have everything but the house?

You don’t need to be married or a parent to own your own home. Plenty of single people aspire to homeownership. But if you’re already married and maybe, you already have kids, then owning a home could be a great next step for your family.

 

Are you looking to make an investment?

Even if you can’t afford the home of your dreams, yet—don’t forget the yet, and ask yourself how you might get there. Maybe you want a single-family home with two bedrooms and a yard, but all you can afford is a single-bedroom condo.

 

Think strategically then, about how many years you might invest into a condo. If you bought a condo that could use some work, for example, and spent two years making improvements. After those two years of not paying rent and making payments on your investment, you might be able to sell the condo and buy the actual home of your dreams. Your first step doesn’t have to be your biggest one.

 

 

Buying a home is a big deal, but there are plenty of resources for first-time home buyers available. And opportunities to learn more about things like what a mortgage is or how much it costs to buy a house. So don’t get too intimidated. If you want a house, then start learning now how to make your dream a possibility.

 

Looking for more Foundation tips and learning? Return Home here.

Published 03.31.22

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