Every day it seems like the news is reporting home prices are up, mortgage rates are down. So it’s not unusual for potential home buyers to ask, is now a good time to buy? The real answer to that question, however, is this – you should buy a home when you are “ready,” both financially and mentally. Regardless of whether rates are low or housing prices are about to rise, the real question is, are you ready?
And being ready to buy a house is more than just having a job. Potential home buyers should ask themselves these three important questions:
- Is my job secure?
- Am I buying a house as an investment or as place to put down some roots?
- Do I plan on staying in the home for five or more years?
Here’s why these three questions are so important. First, you need to not only be able to pay your mortgage, but to keep up the maintenance on the house and make improvements when needed. A secure job means you can meet those obligations – and can help you worry less and sleep better at night!
Second, if you’re buying your first house as an investment, then you aren’t buying for the right reason. A house is a place of shelter that provides the pride of ownership and the ability to control your surroundings. It shouldn’t be looked upon as a merely an investment. Just like the stock market, housing values can and have gone down in the short-term. You need to look at home ownership for other reasons.
And third, owning a home isn’t like renting. You can’t just move on a moment’s notice. Homes take time to sell, there are transaction costs for selling, and there’s no crystal ball into how active the housing market will be in three, four, five or more years in your neighborhood. You need to decide that the home you pick is where you want to live for a long time and that the community is one you want to put roots down in.
So ask yourself these three crucial questions to determine whether the time is right for you to buy a home. If you are confident about your job, you understand that a home can be an investment in your well being and that of your family, and you look forward to living and making friends in a community of your choosing, then now is an excellent time to buy!