Signs You’re Ready To Buy Your First Home

Are you tired of renting and ready to move into a house of your own? Feeling tired of renting is not, in and of itself, a good reason to buy a house. First, you really need to make sure you are financially, and otherwise, ready to make this big step in life. So, what are some signs that you're ready to buy your first home?

You have a down payment saved up.

You may have heard that you need a 20% down payment to buy a house. This used to be true, but it's not true in most cases anymore. There are plenty of banks that will issue a conventional mortgage with a 10% down payment, and as a first-time buyer, you may qualify for an FHA mortgage, which often only requires a 3.5% down payment. Still, you do need to have some money saved towards a down payment in order to buy your first home. Research the prices of smaller starter homes in your area, and then aim to save between at least 5 to 10% of the average price of those homes. 

You don't plan on moving for at least 5 years.

For the first few years that you own a home, you'll mostly be paying interest. You won't really be paying down the principal of your loan, which means if you go to sell, you won't have much equity to cover the cost of hiring an agent. For this reason, it's not usually recommended that you buy a home unless you plan on living there for at least 5 years. So, if your job is stable and you don't suspect you'll be relocating to a new city in the next half-decade, you may be ready to buy.

You have time to dedicate to maintenance and repairs.

One big difference between living in a house versus an apartment is the time you spend caring for the place. As a homeowner, you'll be responsible for cleaning your windows, painting the house, caring for the landscaping, replacing the appliances when they fail, maintaining the plumbing, and so much more. Make sure you have time to dedicate to these tasks before you buy your first home — and that you're financially prepared to hire someone to do what you can't.

Buying your first home is an important and rewarding step! Make sure it is a good experience by taking the time to think through the decision and make sure you're ready. For more information about buying a home, contact a local real estate office.