At GVC Mortgage, we often talk about the benefits of buying a home and encourage first-timers to take the plunge. However, we also recognize that not everyone is ready to be a first-time homebuyer. Circumstances differ greatly from person to person, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help you find out if you’re ready to buy your first home.
Are you settled?
Buying a home is a big investment in your future. Typically, you should stay in your home for at least a few years for it to make financial sense. So ask yourself a few questions to figure out if you’re settled in your current location. Does your career path require you to maintain some flexibility? Could a promotion potentially take you out of state? In addition to your career, you should also consider your future family goals. Do you see yourself having children in the next 5 years? Then you’ll need space for them. Do you have young children? Then you’ll need to consider their future school district. Make sure you can see a future in your desired location before you purchase a home there.
How are your finances?
A mortgage lender is going to dive deeply into your current finances to determine your home loan amount. They’ll be looking at everything from your proof of income to your debt-to-income ratio, so be prepared for what they will find. As you look into your own finances, consider the possibility that you may need to wait a year or two to pay off debts and save money before you can purchase a new home.
Can you afford to make repairs?
Finally, when considering buying a home, many only consider the down payment and the monthly mortgage amount. However, there are several other expenses that come along with owning a home that you need to be prepared for. If you’ve been renting, you’re probably used to a landlord or maintenance man making repairs when needed at no cost to you. However, when you purchase a home, you are responsible for your own repairs and they can add up quickly. Additionally, there are taxes, insurance, and other expenses that need to be accounted for.