Buying a home is one of the (if not THE) largest invest you will make in your life. As such, there are a few important considerations and questions you should ask yourself before making the decision to purchase a home. From financial considerations to long-term planning – buying a home involves so much more than finding a place you love!
Here are some questions to get you off on the right foot!
Can I afford to buy a home?
This one may seem obvious, but there complexities to home finances that make this question much more than simply knowing how much money is sitting in your bank account. You want to consider what you currently have in savings, as well as what your future pay is going to look like. Are you planning to be in the same job in the next few years? Will you be able to have pay stability that will let you meet the mortgage payments, as well as upkeep and maintenance costs that come with owning a home? While the future is hard to predict, knowing that you will be looking for a new job which might require relocating would suggest buying a home may not be the best choice right now.
How much do I have available for a down payment?
Generally speaking, you want to have a 20% down payment for your home. If you’re not there or near this amount, it would be wise to keep saving up before starting the house hunting journey!
Can I get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Start the pre-approval process before you house hunt. Go to your bank to sit down with an advisor – they will go through the needed information with you and start the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. You can then make an offer quickly should the perfect home for you become available. With today’s conditions, it will go a long way if you can make an offer promptly.
What is my credit score?
You will want to examine your credit track record carefully and be honest with yourself. It would be wise to build your credit score up before heading to the bank to talk about mortgage pre-approval. Not missing payments and having consistent history of meeting deadlines will go a long way in solidifying your credit stability. If this hasn’t been the case for you in the last while, take some time to focus on doing this while continuing to save for a home – you won’t regret it!
What is my price range?
You should sit down and figure out what price range you can afford and stick to that amount. This process often begins with a mortgage pre-approval. After you’re approved for a mortgage, look for houses that are safely within your budget. Don’t tempt yourself by looking outside the boundaries of your budget!
Where do I see myself in five years?
This is an important question, as superficial it may sound at first. Buying a home gives your life a sense of permanence and investing in a home will put you in that location for the foreseeable future. If you are unsure of where you want to be in five years, it may not be the best time to set down your roots!
Where is the optimal location for my home?
Think about the location of your home! Daily commute times, while they are often overlooked when you find a dream home far away, are going to be your reality. Set up a maximum daily commute time and stick within that radius when looking for a home. If you are planning to have kids, how close do you want to be to schools, daycare centres, and other places you’ll be involved in once the little ones come along?
Can I grow in this home?
This question is one to ask yourself when standing in front of a home you’re viewing. If you are a young couple and planning on kids in the next few years, you will want to take that into consideration when buying. What home will give you and your coming family the most flexibility to grow and adapt for the next 5-10 years?
Buying a home is an exciting time in anyone’s life! And choosing to buy one when you have peace of mind about the reality of homeownership and knowing you are in the right place to move forward will make the process run much more smoothly and less stressfully! Avoid homebuyer’s regret by preparing as best you can before taking the leap.
As a real estate agent, I can help you identify areas that will maximize your happiness in choosing the perfect home. I can help the process run as smoothly as possible and help you find a home that meets all your requirements and will suit you and your family! From location, finances and budgets to upkeep and management – if you’re ready to find the perfect place to call home (whether buying or renting), give me a call today!