Buying a house is a great experience for many people, and it can be a savvy investment, too. That said, you shouldn’t buy a home simply because you perceive that it’s what people are “supposed to do.” How can you know if you’re truly ready for buying a house? Here are five things you’ll definitely want to be confident in before you start browsing the listings or frequenting open houses:
- That You’re Thinking Logically
You’ll never be able to totally remove emotion from the process of buying a house, but you should make sure you’re thinking primarily with your head, not your heart. Buying a house is a big commitment, and you need to make sure you’re thinking clearly about it. It’s great to have support from enthusiastic friends and family members, but don’t let any outside pressure unduly influence you.
- That You Want to Stay Put
Especially if this is your first time buying, you want to be reasonably sure you can stay put for a few years. Real estate is still a good long-term investment, but you can never be sure of breaking even if you have to sell in the near future.
- That You Don’t Mind Maintenance
If you’ve lived in rental homes in the past, think about all the things your landlord had to either do or pay for; those will all be your responsibility now. You’ll need to plan ahead for things like roof maintenance, plumbing repair, lawn mowing, snow removal and more. And, especially if your budget is stretched by your new mortgage, you’ll probably need to pick up a few skills and be handy around the house.
- That You Can Handle the Stress
Being a homeowner is stressful. Not only will you have new costs and responsibilities, you’ll also have more stress to deal with.
- That You Can Afford It Now
Don’t buy a house based on where you expect your finances to be in the future; even if you’re anticipating a promotion or another source of increase income, you never know what other expenses will pop up. There will still be houses on the market when you’re financially prepared, so take the time you need.
Do you think you’re ready for buying a home? Share your thoughts in the comments.