How to Know if You’re Ready to Own a HomePosted by Ansley Atlanta 01/18/2019
Being financially ready is only one part of the home buying equation – it’s equally important to know if you’re mentally ready, because buying a home changes your life. Home ownership means you’re the boss, you can paint, hammer and do just about anything without asking permission. On the flip side, you have to be willing to give up a bit – paying a mortgage every month means maybe putting off that beach vacation or new car. Make sure you’re buying a home for the right reasons and carefully considering all the elements of home ownership before you commit.
We’ve outlined answers to a few common first-time home buyer questions below that will hopefully help you determine if home ownership is right for you:
How will I know when I’m ready to buy a home?
Owning a home is not about “when” but “who.” Who are you? What is your position in life? Home ownership is a major responsibility, so the decision should be the right one for you and the way you want to live your life. A few things to consider include:
Your attitude about home ownership – why do you want to own a home?
Your level of commitment to being “all in” – there’s no landlord to call when the toilet breaks!
Your financial health – are you prepared for all the expenses associated with home ownership?
Your life stage – are you ready to stay in one place for a while and commit to being a home owner?
Why is buying a home better than renting?
Owning a home isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Home ownership has its ups and downs; but most people agree, the financial benefits far outweigh the negatives. Consider that every year you pay rent, that money is not going toward anything – it’s money you’ll never see again, you’re just lining the pockets of your landlord. When you make a mortgage payment however, that money is going toward something – your home, you are building equity in an investment that will hopefully deliver a profit in the future.
Where do I start?
You’ve heard the expression “it takes a village,” well it certainly applies to the home buying experience. Whether you’re buying with a partner or flying solo, seeking out second opinions and guidance from friends and family who’ve been through the process before is a great way to crowd-source knowledge, and ease your mind about making an informed decision. You’ll undoubtedly learn from what your friends and family have experienced, and hopefully avoid their mistakes!
I’m ready….what should I do first?
Once you know buying a home is the right choice for you and your lifestyle, get your finances in order and get pre-qualified for a loan! Don’t worry, there’s not much involved in the pre-qualification process – the mortgage lender will ask you for your full legal name, address, monthly income, assets and social security number. The lender will then be able to loosely determine how much you can afford and what type(s) of loans are available to you and issue a pre-qualification letter. This process is non-binding, so shop around and find a mortgage lender who you like, and who has the best terms. Knowing what you can afford will empower you and will take a lot of the stress out of your home search. Also, most sellers will want to see a pre-qualification letter before considering an offer, so it’s a very important step!
When do I start working with a Realtor®?
The short answer to that question is NOW!. When you work with a Realtor® as their client, they represent you and your interests exclusively. You have the full benefit of their invaluable knowledge, expertise and recommendations to help you find, negotiate and purchase your home. Best of all, their service is FREE to you as a buyer since the seller typically pays the commission on the sale of a property.
Ansley Atlanta knows the needs of first-time home buyers are unique, that’s why we created Ansley First, a program designed to help first-time buyers successfully navigate their home buying journey. Please contact us for more information about Ansley First, or with any questions about the home buying process – we’re here to help!