As the Northern Hemisphere heats up, so too does the housing market. If you stop and listen you might be able to hear, with an almost collective synchronicity, the sound of dreamers everywhere typing “houses for sale near me” into their browsers.
It’s the time for it—minds turning wistfully to fantasies of craftsman homes in beautiful neighborhoods, to bigger spaces with larger yards, or to daring dreams of finally downsizing and freeing up some cash to do something big and bold.
The options are many, and if you find yourself wondering if you fit any of these profiles, perhaps it’s time for you to address the elephant in the room. Are you, in fact, ready to buy a house?
Elephants don’t vanish till we acknowledge them, we’re told, so now’s the time to think about these four topics. How you address your situation will give you insight into what may be right for you. So read on and say goodbye to all your doubts!
I Need More Space or I’m Ready to Downsize
One of the most obvious signs that it’s time for some new digs is the frustration of suddenly realizing there’s not enough space in your home. Maybe your family has grown in size or height, and three bedrooms and a living room aren’t enough to hold all of you without stressing everyone out. When being at home together feels like everyone is coming apart at the seams, that could signal that it’s time to look for a bigger space.
Conversely, if your kids have moved out and you suddenly have a surplus of space—which translates into bigger heating and maintenance bills—and downsizing is in the stars, this could also mean it’s time to sell, cash in the equity, and get a smaller home that fits you better.
My Finances Are Ship-Shape
Though it’s not homebuying canon, the idea that if you can afford to pay rent, you can afford to pay a mortgage is circulated among experts as a standard way to determine whether or not you’re ready to take the leap of faith towards homeownership.
There are some tidbits to keep in mind as you assess your readiness to buy a home. While it’s possible to get a mortgage for the same price as one might pay in rent, homeownership brings with it other costs.
HOA fees, home repairs, landscaping, renovations, wear and tear on expensive items that will eventually need to be replaced like water-heaters and AC units, are all potential costs to consider. Many experts agree that setting aside a monthly percentage to save for the proverbial rainy day that will most definitely come is a way to get some peace of mind.
If you have a plan for these things, then you can probably say that you’re financially set to buy a home.
I Don’t Want to Answer to a Landlord
There comes a time when someone is ready to be their own landlord. It just happens. Kind of like graduating from high school or outgrowing the clunker that got you through college, these are the rites of passage that many Americans experience.
Maybe you want to be able to paint your walls whatever color suits you, or you’d like to be able to redo the flooring and asking permission just doesn’t appeal to you anymore. It’s not unusual to suddenly have the urge to break free of the control of a landlord, to finally be your own master when it comes to how you live within the walls of the home that marks where the world ends and your world begins.
If you’re ready to be the lord of your own land, then it could be time to start looking for a home that is all yours.
I Want to Build Equity in a Home
Home equity is simply jargon for the increase in value that your home earns as two things happen: you continue to pay your monthly mortgage and as home prices in your area increase.
For example, Joe Hipster buys a home for $10,000. As time goes by, he faithfully pays his mortgage and the market his home is located in sees an average annual increase. Now comparable houses in Joe Hipster’s neighborhood sell for $20,000. Joe could likely sell his house for that amount as well, earning him more than he spent on it.
There are many nuances to all the clever ways a true homeowning wizard can earn equity and make money on their asset, but for most purposes, the simple explanation should suffice. Many people see the point of homeownership as a way to earn even just a little back on the money they would already be spending on a place to live.
That’s it! All done. Now, here’s the thing—the answer about whether or not you’re ready comes down to you as an individual. What you do next is yours to determine. If you learned something here today, perhaps you’re that much closer to your next home, or even . . . your first home!
Last but not least, let us know how we can assist you! Nothing compares to talking to an expert to get a good read on your personal situation. So give us a call today!