Buying a house is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. And like any big decision, it’s worth taking your time to do all of your research before making up your mind. You have to find the right property that suits your needs, put together a down payment, and be prepared for a lifetime of home repairs. But when you’re finally ready to buy, these seven signs will help you know for sure that now is the right time.
1) You have a stable job
When you have a stable job, it means that you’re in a good place financially, and you’re less likely to lose your income. This makes it easier to qualify for a mortgage and means that you’ll be able to afford your monthly payments. Plus, having a stable job gives you peace of mind and the security of knowing that you’ll always have a place to call home.
2) You have money saved for a down payment
A big purchase like buying a house requires you to put up some of your own cash. And the bigger the down payment, the better interest rate you’ll receive on your mortgage. Ideally, you should be able to save at least 10% of the total cost of your new home before applying for a loan, but if you have a more modest budget, putting 5% down is better than nothing.
3) You have an emergency fund
When you buy a house, you cannot call a landlord when the plumbing goes on the fritz or your heater goes bust. This means that it’s your responsibility to take care of every little problem that arises around the home. And if you don’t have an emergency fund set aside for these types of repairs, it can create serious financial problems down the line.
If you already have a pile of cash saved up and ready to go in case something goes wrong, you’re taking care of one more thing on your list before you’re prepared to make a big purchase.
4) You understand what you can afford
When it comes to buying a house, most people don’t have an unlimited budget. That means that before you start shopping for your new home, you want to know exactly how much money is available and what kind of home you can afford within those constraints.
To figure this out, one of the first things you should do is talk to a lender who can give you some guidance on how much money you’ll need to qualify for your home loan. Then, take a look at your monthly income and expenses to see how many payments you can make each year without going over budget.
5) You’re responsible for credit
You don’t have to have a perfect credit score when buying a house, but it helps. A good credit rating means that you won’t have any problems qualifying for a mortgage and that your interest rate will be lower.
So before you start shopping for homes, make sure that all of your bills are paid on time and that you don’t have excessive credit card debt. If you can manage your money responsibly for several months, you’ll be in the clear when it comes to taking out a home loan.
6) You know what kind of house you want
If being responsible with your money is important, knowing exactly what type of home will fit into your budget is even more important. With an idea of what you can afford, it’s time to decide exactly where you want to live and then start looking at houses that fit into your budget in that area.
It helps if you already have your dream home in mind before starting this process. But sometimes, knowing how much house you can afford causes you to stretch your boundaries and look at homes you wouldn’t normally consider. And once you do that, finding your dream home becomes much easier.
7) You’re prepared for the long-term commitment
When you buy a house, it’s not just any other purchase—it’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life. You should be confident in your choice of home and know that it’s the perfect fit for your future.
And the only way to know for sure is to be prepared to stay at your new home for several years. Whether you plan on living in your dream home forever or think you’ll move on after ten or 15 years, you must understand what the commitment means and how it will affect all of your family finances.
Once you’re comfortable with the commitment, it’s time to start looking for homes. When these seven signs describe your situation, then you’re ready to start shopping for a house that will give you countless happy memories now and into the future.
Meta title: Telltale Signs You’re Ready to Purchase a House
meta desc: Buying a house is a big decision. But if you’re up to the task, these signs will help you know when you’re ready to make this big purchase. Learn more.