Have you been considering making the jump to homeownership?
Owning a home is a big deal, and buying your first home is a huge step. How do you know if you’re ready to make the jump?
First, it’s important to know if you’re not ready. Some people don’t like to admit it, but not everyone is in the right stage of life to buy a home right now. Some people may never benefit from buying a home depending on their lifestyle.
But what’s right for you?
We want to help. We have a few things that you should consider when you’re trying to figure out if it’s time to buy property. Don’t buy a home before reading through this checklist and doing a serious self-evaluation. Do any of the following factors apply to you?
YOU AREN’T SURE IF YOU WANT A FAMILY
This is one of the bigger factors when it comes to whether or not you’re ready to buy a home. If you haven’t yet started a family, this is a big one.
This isn’t to say that people without families shouldn’t own houses. After all, there’s something to be said for an awesome bachelor (or bachelorette) pad, right? Who doesn’t love a single-bedroom bungalow or even a large space for your office, guest room, and anything else that you need?
When you’re unsure, though, you might want to reconsider.
Houses are expensive and this purchase may be the biggest one you ever make. It takes a long time to save up to afford a house. If you buy when you’re still single and ready to mingle, you might find yourself in a tricky position when you move a partner or children in.
Make sure that you have some idea of what you want your household to look like before you look into houses that will suit you.
YOUR FAMILY IS GROWING
So, you have a family. You’re very happy and thriving, and you’re thinking about moving from a rental home to a purchased home. We get it! Sometimes more stability is necessary.
But is your family still growing?
If you know that you’re intent on adding more members to your household but you aren’t sure how many, consider putting a pause on your buying plans until you’ve figured out what you’re doing.
Again, houses are a big commitment. It’s troublesome to buy a four-bedroom home just to realize that you suddenly want to add a new member to the family. Where’s the nursery going to go?
YOU TRAVEL ALL THE TIME
Anyone who spends a lot of time travelling or moving around knows that a stable house isn’t always the best idea.
Sure, it’s nice when you’re on your off days, but when you spend so much of your life moving about, what’s the point of that big expensive house? A house grounds you, at least for a while, especially if you don’t have anyone else at home to help take care of it.
This is also true if you move all the time. Some people move by choice, others move for work or school. If this is you, purchasing a home doesn’t make sense, does it? One of the benefits of renting is mobility.
YOU DON’T LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE
How do you feel about your town? What about your neighbourhood?
Deciding where to put down roots is big. You don’t want to buy a house in a neighbourhood that you can’t stand, or a city that you don’t want to stay in long-term. Why limit yourself if you have different plans for your life?
Unless you know for sure that the housing market is about to boom so you’ll make a healthy profit from your home when you’re ready to move somewhere better, it’s in your best interest to keep your home-buying plans off in the future.
YOU AREN’T FINANCIALLY SECURE
Financial security matters. In a world where the costs of everything are always increasing, you need to know your own budget and what your finances are capable of.
It’s recommended that you save 20% of the total house purchasing price alongside any potential costs that come with the purchase. Depending on the home, that’s a lot of money. Is it money that you can spare?
After that down payment, you may have to pay fees associated with your town or neighbourhood, extra taxes, and you’ll be covering the costs of all repairs from now on (so there are no landlords or property managers to help you).
All of this doesn’t even begin to cover the mortgage.
If you haven’t yet reached the point where you’re able to spend this money without putting the rest of your financial life at risk, stick with rentals for the moment.
YOU’RE NOT SURE WHAT YOU WANT IN A HOUSE
What do you even want from your future home? Have you thought about it?
Buying a home is different from renting one. When you rent, you can try a bunch of different things until you find the right fit. You might realize that you need a bathtub rather than a walk-in shower, or that you really value having a basement or an enclosed porch.
You may develop a preference of carpet over hardwood and learn how much space you need for each room.
Learning these things while renting is great. Learning them after you’ve already bought a home? Not so much.
ARE YOU READY TO BUY A HOME?
We’re always excited to see new homebuyers, but we want you to be ready for this next big step in your life. There’s nothing wrong with renting until you’re ready to move forward. You need to know your limitations and lifestyle before you make that purchase.