Buying a home is a major financial investment decision, a decision that can be filled with much worry and sleepless nights.
Buying the right home, at the right time, and for the right price can strengthen your financial situation significantly. Buying at the wrong time however, could hurt you financially. So, the Universal Law of risk and reward proves true yet again.
Before you begin the process of buying your home consider the following:
1. How long do you plan on living in the home you purchase? If you are unsure about your future job situation, maybe the company is unstable, or if you are unhappy in your current job this might not be the right time to buy. If you buy now and end up moving before your home has had time to appreciate in value, it could cost you to sell. Check the appreciate rate in your area by contacting your agent. The national average is between 3% and 5% per year. At this rate, it’s a general rule that you should plan on being in your home at least 3 years in order to recoup your investment and cover the selling costs of your home and buying costs of a new home. The higher the appreciation value in your area, the less time you’ll need to be on the positive side buying/selling process. Pay close attention on the average over time and not to the spikes in the market.
2. Will the home you’re considering meet your needs in the future? If you’re planning on staying in your location for five years, consider what your needs will be for those five years. Are you planning on growing your family? What will your childrens needs be as far as space in three years. If you have three children and two are sharing a room now at ages 10 and 8, will they still be friends at ages 15 and 13 in five years if they are still sharing a room? Will you need an office space of your own to have a little privacy? Plan for growth!
3. What is your credit situation? Take some time and get a credit report from a credible reporting agency. The better your credit is, the more options you’ll have when choosing a lender. If your credit is questionable you will probably still be able to find a lender, but your interest rates may be high and simply get you into more debt. Don’t rush into a purchase. Get credit healthy first.