Lauren Caggiano is a Fort Wayne-based copywriter and editor with a nerdy passion for AP Style. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, thrift shopping, fitness and travel. Learn more on her website: www.lovewriteon.com.
To everything, there’s a season. If you’re vacillating between renting or buying a home, you can never do enough research. While the decision is largely personal, there are a few guideposts that can help you determine if you’re ready to make the leap. Here are a few of the factors you should weigh when looking at the big picture.
Are you at the place in your career when you intend to remain in the same city for the foreseeable future? You typically need to be in the property for a few years to make it worth the closing costs. If you expect that your employer or job might be in flux and relocation is a possibility, it might be best to stay in a rental situation until you have more clarity.
If you’re single but plan to marry and start a family sooner than later, you might have an added incentive to put down roots. The question then becomes how many children you might have. A two-bedroom house might not cut it for a family of five. When looking at potential homes, you’ll need to plan for how your budget and future plans might best align.
Your Credit Health
A mortgage is a major commitment, one that you shouldn’t enter lightly. The interest rate is somewhat dependent on your track record as a consumer. This means if your credit is mediocre, you’re going to pay thousands of dollars more over the course of the loan. If you’re concerned about your candidacy as an applicant, you might take 6 months to a year to work on paying down debt and improving your creditworthiness. It will be worth it in the end, in interest savings.
Overall Financial Situation
Would a mortgage payment fit in with your current budget? What about a down payment, closing costs, and other ancillary fees associated with a home purchase? Just like you might need to take time to boost your credit, you might need to focus on building up dedicated savings.
Your Geographic Location
If your market is hot, you might need to reconsider the timing. Right now, it’s a seller’s market in a lot of places across the country, meaning it’s not unusual for homes to go thousands of dollars over the listing price. If you’re not in the position to over-bid or need to find a new home sooner than later, it might be prudent to wait on the sidelines until things cool off.
Most experts will tell you that the sooner you get into homeownership, the better, as it’s a means to build wealth. However, it’s highly dependent on your own unique situation, and you should feel emotionally and financially ready to take on the obligation.
Also, know that you don’t have to go it alone. Talking to an expert can help inform your decision. And if you’re confident that now is in fact the right time, our team is a ready resource. From our online pre-approval application to our Digital Closing Experience, we will guide you through your unique homebuying journey.