The first thing that comes to mind when considering the right time to buy a house most likely will be can you afford it. While this is the primary consideration for the most significant purchase of your life, there are other factors to consider. Timing, budget, resources, current income, future anticipated income, family size, interest rates, current housing market, are just a some of the deciding factors. Your particular situation may require other things to make your decision.
We suggest to our clients that you do some research to learn more about different types of mortgages and home buyer programs that may be available. Gain a better understanding of a realistic budget and how much you can afford as a monthly payment. This will be the primary element for your price range when looking for a home. You’ll want to have a good idea about how much down payment you’ll need and a plan for obtaining that money. There are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself financially for home ownership and we have resources to help when you’re ready.
In addition to financial planning for a home purchase, consider the other elements that suggest this is or isn’t the best time to buy. For example, how stable is your career and household income? Certain things, like the recent government shutdown, can’t always be anticipated. Having a plan, with back-up resources, for the ups and downs of life will go along way toward assessing your readiness for homeownership. If you’re planning a family or your family size at home is getting larger or smaller, how will that impact the type and location of your new home?
As professional Realtors®, with many years of experience working with people in all phases of home buying and selling readiness, we have developed an effective approach to assisting them to make the best decisions for their situation. You and your family are in the best position to know if now is the right time to buy. Working through some questions like what we’ve discussed here will position you well for making the best choice.
Once you have a good financial picture of what is needed to dedicate to a home purchase, and what you can realistically afford, you’re ready to factor in the other lifestyle elements to complete your decision process. Some people find it helpful to write everything down in a format like Pro’s and Con’s, or benefits of buying now vs. waiting until something has changed. The most important thing to remember in this process is to talk to your partner, family members, trusted friends, and professionals to get the right information to allow you to make the best decision for you.
Remember, there’s rarely a perfect time for any major life decision. There will always be challenges and advantages regardless of when you decide to go forward. Working with an experienced and trusted real estate professional is probably the single best strategy, as you have a teacher, coach, resource, and advocate in that person. Your agent is there to ensure your interests are protected and you have the best opportunity to get what you want from your new home. Please reach out and let us help provide you with resources to decide if this is the right time for you to become a homeowner.