Buying a house is a big decision that many people spend months, if not years, mulling over. Are you ready to make this huge and long-term commitment? Should you wait a little longer?
Here are the definitive signs that you should apply for a mortgage loan and start shopping for a real estate property to call your own.
You Have a Stable Income
Running a house will be expensive. Aside from the mortgage, there are utilities (electricity, water, internet), taxes, Homeowners Association (HOA) fees, and other expenses. On top of that, if something goes wrong within your property, you, as the owner, are responsible for finding a professional to do repairs and maintenance work and pay them out of pocket.
Having a stable income, therefore, is an unofficial requirement. It will make your life a little easier knowing that there is money coming into your bank account every month that is enough to pay off all the bills.
Plus, lenders may not trust you enough to grant you a loan without employment or proof of earnings. Usually, having a job means that you can pay off your mortgage on time and without a problem.
You Have Money Saved Up for the Home
There are so many fees associated with acquiring real estate. First, you have to be prepared to cough up a downpayment. Right now, you can give as little as 3.5 percent of the final cost of the house as a down payment. If you have money saved up, that does not sound too bad.
However, there are other costs when buying a house. You also have to pay closing costs, insurance, taxes, etc. Also, work has to be done to make the house liveable. By the end of the transaction, these expenditures will rack you up several thousands of dollars more.
You have to be prepared not just to pay your mortgage but other expenses as well. Having savings to cover the downpayment and other unexpected expenditures mean you are ready to be a homeowner.
You Want to Stay Put
Renters have the freedom just to leave when they no longer think their current apartment suits their lifestyle. Homeowners have to stay put for, at least, a couple of years in the same house.
Before you close the sale, you have to make sure that you want to live in this house and this neighborhood for a long time. You should not have any desire to move abroad, for example, or apply to a job out of state soon.
You need to stay in the house you bought for at least five years, according to Bankrate.com, to allow the property’s value to appreciate. That is when you build enough equity to offset the costs you paid to close the sale, the agent’s fees, etc. In short, five years is when you can break even.
You are Ready for More Responsibilities
Being a homeowner is a lot of work. You are in control and, therefore, you alone will do the upkeep. And there is a lot to do to keep a house, and the surrounding land, comfortable and liveable.
There are a lot of tasks that you should do on your own. You can call a professional to do maintenance work, but there are some chores that you need to learn how to do. You can save so much money by being handy.
Although many people dream of being a homeowner, it is not for everyone. Check the points mentioned above and see if they all apply to your current situation. If they do, go ahead and start house hunting.