Are you ready to be a homeowner? Taking the leap from renting to owning is an important milestone in many people’s lives. Not only does it signify that your financial affairs are in order, but it also means you’re finally ready to settle down (at least, for the time being!). Of course, while owning a home comes with a myriad of benefits, there are still several drawbacks to consider, including the fact that homeowners are now strapped with one very big financial responsibility. Despite these financial obligations, though, many homebuyers will tell you that there’s nothing quite like owning your own home. Still not sure if you’re ready to be a homeowner? Here are 5 signs that it’s time to take the leap and buy a home.
You have enough money for a down payment
So you’ve scrimped and saved, and finally have enough money for a down payment. Congratulations! If you plan to finance the home, then you’ll need cash on-hand to complete the transaction. A down payment is an up-front payment for a portion of the home’s purchase price. Depending on the lender, you may need to put down as much as 20 percent or as little as 5 percent. Be sure to also budget in additional closing costs, including Realtor fees, title-related fees and home inspection fees. Once you’ve saved up enough money to cover the down payment and other necessary home costs, you’ll be one step closer to buying a home.
You’re prepared to take care of a home
Owning a home is often a labor of love. Without a landlord to take care of pesky maintenance issues, it’s up to you to handle every aspect of a home’s upkeep. That means everything from changing lightbulbs and mowing the grass to dealing with plumbing problems and pest issues. Think you’re up for the challenge? If the answer is yes, then you’re most likely ready to buy a home. For assistance with home maintenance, we strongly recommend finding a reputable handyman. In addition, you may need other reliable service professionals, such as an electrician, plumber, pool maintenance team, and lawn care pros. Don’t have home service professionals on stand-by? Here are 8 ways to find service professionals in your neighborhood.
You’re sick and tired of throwing money away on rent
One of the biggest cons of renting a home is that you’re essentially throwing away money every month – or at least, throwing it into your landlord’s wallet. If you’re sick and tired of spending your hard-earned money on monthly rental payments, then buying a home may be the right decision for you. Unlike rental payments, your monthly mortgage payments go towards building equity in your home. Building equity is one of the most important benefits of owning a home. The more money you put towards your home, the closer you’ll be to owning the home outright. Owning a home also allows you to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC), where homeowners can borrow against their own home, if they find themselves in need of cash.
You’re ready to stay in one place for a substantial amount of time
Tired of moving? Owning a home allows you to feel settled in a city in a way that renting simply does not. For instance, a landlord may raise the rent or terminate a lease unexpectedly, forcing you to find a new place to live. This won’t be the case if you own a home. Assuming you’re able to make your monthly mortgage payments, you should be able to stay as long as you like. Living in one place for a substantial amount of time (and not wasting time with a move) also allows you to focus on other important tasks and goals, such as working hard at your job, spending time with loved ones and getting to know your community.
You have good credit
Establishing a good FICO credit score is an absolute must for homebuyers. Without strong credit, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bank willing to lend you money to buy a home. Banks are also more likely to give those with good credit scores better interest rates. In general, homebuyers should aim to have a credit score above 600. If you already have good credit, then consider yourself ready to buy a home. If not, start working to improve that credit score one day at a time. To improve your credit score, you can request a higher line of credit, pay all credit card minimums on time, apply for more credit cards and improve your debt-to-credit ratio. For more information on why establishing good credit is so important for buying a home, check here.
Ready to buy a home?
If all five signs apply to you, then you are officially ready to purchase a home. Here are several tips for getting started with the home buying process.
Determine your budget – Take a look at your savings and assets to determine your budget. Don’t forget to keep important expenses in mind as well.
Find a good Realtor – Enlisting a talented and knowledgeable Realtor can make all the difference in your home buying process. Make sure to find a Realtor who knows the area inside and out.
Research various neighborhoods – For information on a city and/or specific neighborhood, check Moving.com’scity profile reports. Our reports include school information, cost of living, economic and residential data.
If there’s a move in your future, you’ll need the right movers to get you there. Fortunately, Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers makes it easy to find and book the best moving company for the job. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!