Many of us dream of owning our own space and having full control over it, but that dream can soon become a nightmare if you’re not fully prepared for homeownership. If the urge to buy your own home won’t go away, chances are you’re well on the road to becoming a homeowner. But how do you know if you’re ready for it?
As a huge financial and legal commitment, buying and owning a home is a complicated process, so it’s worth educating yourself. But it takes more than an understanding of how things work to know if you should make the leap. Here are 10 signs that you’re ready to become a homeowner.
You’re Happy With Where You Are in Life
Without a doubt, homeownership is a commitment. You need to be happy with where you are in life and know that you won’t get itchy feet six months down the line. It’s also important that you have the support you need, and if you’re in a relationship, it’s essential that this is something you both want. Buying a home is no way to fix a fragile relationship and can often cause more stress and damage than good if you’re not on the same page.
If you dream of travelling the world, it’s possible as a homeowner under the right circumstances, but it’s not ideal. Don’t rush into buying just because you feel you should. While you’re young, live that nomadic lifestyle and see where it takes you. Only when you know you’re happy where you are, can you start to think about buying a home.
You Have a Secure and Stable Income
Most of us need to take out a mortgage in order to buy a home, which means making monthly repayments. Additionally, you’ll have utility bills to pay, maintenance fees, insurance and a number of other costs that you wouldn’t worry about while renting. It’s important that you can keep up with these payments, so being secure in your work is vital.
Your Credit Score is Looking Good
To take out a mortgage, you’ll need a decent credit score, with around 640 being the minimum. If yours is low, take the time to increase it. This way you’ll enjoy better rates when the time comes to talk to lenders.
You Have a Handle on Your Debt
Going hand in hand with your credit score, a potential homeowner needs to have any debt well under control. Lenders will look at this when considering your application. If you’re deep in debt, now is not the time to start house hunting.
You’ve Saved Up Enough for a Down Payment
Even when you take out a mortgage, you need to provide a down payment, typically between 5% and 20% of the final price. Typically, this amounts to tens of thousands of dollars that you’ll need to pay outright. If you don’t have this money, you’ll need to wait a little longer before seeking your dream home.
You Also Have an Emergency Fund
A down payment is all well and good, but there are many hidden fees when buying a home. On top of the down payment, you’ll need to be sure you have cash ready to pay these off, and on top of that, it’s good to have an emergency fund. This will cover you in case of unexpected costs and can make life easier for those first tricky months.
You’re Ready to Take Control of Your Space
Tired of not having the power to take control of your rental apartment? Want to put your own mark on the place? Homeownership offers this freedom and if you’re feeling that you want to make a house a home, you’re definitely on the way to being ready for homeownership.
You’re Realistic About it
But, you know it’s not all going to be sunshine and roses. Things seldom happen as they do on TV, and you know your perfect home probably doesn’t exist in reality. You have thought hard about your wants and needs and know where to focus your search and when to compromise.
You Know What to Expect
You’ve done your research, you have a good idea of what the buying process involves, what steps to take and who you need to talk to. You’re also aware of the various fees and payments you can expect, both before and after the sale. And of course, you know that once you’ve bought a home, you’re responsible for the maintenance and upkeep.
You’re Ready to Grow
Finally, you’re ready to start a new chapter of your life and grow as a person. Perhaps you and your partner are planning to start a family, or maybe you’re ready to open your new business. Whatever it is, home ownership often goes hand in hand with personal growth.
Did you tick all the boxes? Then now seems like a good time to start house hunting — good luck!