Here’s a checklist to see if you’re ready for homeownership
Buying a home is a huge financial decision no matter your circumstances, so it’s worth it to be as prepared as possible before making such a significant investment. Spending time to ask your realtor and your broker the right questions, and planning your mortgage strategy can pay off big in the long run.
Before you pull the trigger on buying a home, you should know where to get your mortgage, and what you should be looking for.
It’s also a good idea to look at some of the common mistakes that other home buyers make to learn from those who’ve come before you.
If you’ve decided that it’s the right time for you to buy a home and you want to be sure you’ve gone above and beyond to prepare, you’ll want to have the following things checked off:
1. Have your budget in order
It goes without saying that having your finances in order and making sure you can afford the home you’re buying is critical, but there’s more to budgeting than just your monthly payments. It’s one thing to be able to afford your mortgage payments, but do you have the discipline to build an emergency fund for when things inevitably need to be replaced? For example, when your fridge and laundry machine both break within weeks of each other, or to hire a plumber when a pipe bursts unexpectedly. Building an emergency fund is important because it gives you peace of mind knowing that you have a cushion to fall back on in case of unexpected expenses.
Homeownership can come with a lot of hidden costs that not everyone prepares for before buying a home. Different types of homes have different costs associated with them, and it’s best to be conservative when planning your budget. Keep in mind things like your property taxes or homeowners association fees increasing by a certain percentage each year, and you’ll get a better understanding of the full costs of your new home.
2. Have a financial plan for the future
An important question to ask yourself is whether you see your financial and living situation remaining stable over the next 5 years. Buying a home is a long-term investment, and it’s important to be sure that you will be able to keep up with the mortgage payments and other expenses associated with homeownership for at least the next five years. If you’re unsure about your future income or job stability, it may be best to wait until you’re more certain before making such a big commitment. You’ll also want to keep track of your debt, like student loans and car payments, and think about how much debt you want to take on in the future. A mortgage is the biggest debt that most people take on in their lifetime and you don’t want to fall into the trap of borrowing money without a plan to pay it off.
3. Plan how you’ll handle repairs and maintenance
Another important consideration is your plan for handling maintenance. Are you more of a do-it-yourself type or do you plan on hiring out? If you’re planning on doing most of the maintenance yourself, be sure to budget for tools and materials and make sure you have a place to store alI of it. If you plan on hiring out, you’ll want to have the budget to cover the cost of labour and materials. It’s important to have a plan for regular maintenance to keep your home in good condition, whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring out.
4. Understand the process
There are a lot of different people you’ll talk to on the road to buying your home. Before you make the decision to buy you should at least know the basics of how the home-buying process works. Here are some questions you can ask your realtor and your mortgage broker to show them you know your stuff and are serious about buying. We’ve covered nearly every topic involved in the home-buying process on our blog, but if there’s something we haven’t covered we’d love to hear it! You can reach out to us on our socials and let us know.
Buying a home is a big step and it’s important to be as prepared as possible before making the move. By considering things like your budget, your financial future, and your maintenance plan, you can be sure that you’re ready for the responsibility of homeownership. Remember, it’s not just about having a down payment, but also about being mentally and financially prepared for the long-term commitment of owning a home.
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