For many, buying a home is a major transition in life. It’s one that comes with a long list of benefits like building long-term equity, the freedom to personalize your living space, and possible tax deductions. That said, making the transition from renter to owner isn’t something to be taken lightly, nor is it the right step for everyone.
Should I Buy a Home: “Yes, Go for It” or “Wait, Just a Little Longer”
When it comes to homebuying, no two situations (or preferences) are the same. There are, however, some general guidelines that may help you decide whether buying a home is in the cards for you.
You’ll likely fall into the following categories:
- Yes, Go for It – You are in a great financial and/or circumstantial position to purchase a home within the next or current homebuying season
- No, Not Right Now – With some changes, you will be in a good financial/circumstantial position to purchase a home in the future
Yes, Go for It
The decision to buy a home is the outcome of several technical and sometimes very personal, factors. The combination of factors will be individual and some of them will resonate with you more strongly than others. Below are some of the most common reasons why people decide to buy a home:
- Starting a family
- Starting a new job or long-term career
- Possessing extra income for a mortgage purchase
- Good to strong credit
- Personal monthly budget that can accommodate a monthly mortgage payment
- Deciding to “put down roots” and create a home base
- Desire to expand your living space
If you resonate with some or all of these reasons, then buying a home is ideal for your current life situation. Homebuying is an investment that requires at least 5 years to break even on the home purchase. Since you’ll be in a strong financial situation, you’re in a good position to be able to make that happen.
Wait, Just a Little Longer
There are times where buying a home does not fit your current lifestyle and/or financial picture. Here are a few of them:
- Deciding ahead of time that you will not be in the area 5 or more years
- Having a job that requires location moves every few months
- Having no savings for a down payment
- Lack of clarity on goals for homeownership
If you find yourself in this camp, you may have financial reasons, or you may not be clear on what you want from homeownership. The best advice we have is: take your time. It is much better to be deliberate about owning a home than rush in and find that you’re in a financial or lifestyle squeeze because you didn’t clarify your reasons and steady your financial foundation.
Many millennial homebuyers experienced some form of “regret” over their recent home purchase. The biggest reason? Not enough preparation before deciding to buy a home. Many of these people were in a decent position to buy a home but needed more time to make sure they were ready.
Ready to Buy?
A home purchase for most people will be the biggest financial expense of their lives. A home is a long-term investment that may put you in the red – temporarily. However, purchasing a home is one of the best choices you can make in the big picture of your financial future.
While it should be taken with seriousness, ultimately buying a home should be enjoyable, even — fun. Your home will be the place you come to recharge and refresh. Your community is where you’ll make friends and make great long-term connections. Those are things you can’t put a price tag on.
As one of the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders, we’ve helped guide thousands of our customers towards the best home loan for their needs and wants. We’re experienced with helping buyers decide whether or not buying a home makes sense for them.
If you want some help on your homebuying journey, reach out to one of our Homebridge Mortgage Loan Originators. They’ll give you the advice and insight for your unique situation.