Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make in your life. The responsibility of being a homeowner is not to be taken lightly. The maintenance, the mortgage, and the headaches that come with home ownership are very real and very frequent. However, there are so many positives that come out of owning a home. The equity built up over time can serve as a launching point for any number of other investment opportunities once the home is sold. You are free to decorate and style your own home however you see fit, and the pride that comes along with being a homeowner is hard to explain unless you've experienced it.
As a Real Estate professional it brings me such joy to see new buyers enthusiastic about starting on their path to being homeowners. But I also know there are tell-tale signs when that enthusiasm doesn't match the reality of actually being ready to purchase a home. Just because the idea of home ownership sounds like the right decision to make doesn't mean the stars have aligned to bring those dreams to fruition. It's not only my job to represent buyers in their pursuit of becoming homeowners, but it's also my duty to give an honest analysis of each client's current goals and situation so that they can make an educated and unemotional determination on whether or not they are truly ready to jump in to the housing market. Here are Five signs that show you may not be ready to buy a home:
1. You have not been pre-approved
One of the first steps anyone should take when deciding to purchase a home is making the determination whether you can even qualify for a mortgage. There are many potential buyers that I've come across that don't even know what their current credit score is. Being pre-approved for a mortgage doesn't hinge solely on your credit score, however, if you have not researched and contacted a trusted lender to have them guide you through being pre-approved then searching for homes on-line is certainly putting the cart before the horse and may very well be in vain.
There are many different lending programs available for buyers with all sorts of contrasting restrictions and options. How much do you need for a down-payment? Do you need a seller to assist you with loan fees? Do you qualify for an FHA, Conventional, VA, or USDA loan? These and many other questions need to be answered by you and your lender to gain an accurate depiction of your ability to purchase a home. If you haven't yet taken this step then you are certainly not ready to buy a home.
2. Your dollar doesn't match your district
As a buyer you will have a list of items you want in a home and one of those will be a preferred location. If you've taken the necessary steps in being pre-approved for a mortgage you no doubt have a budget in which you need to adhere. What if your budget does not allow you to purchase a property in your needed location? What if buying a home requires you to move your kids out of their current school district because you can't afford where they are at? Perhaps buying a home within your budget will require you to move far outside of where you work and play.
In a previous blog post "Is your daily commute really worth a lower mortgage payment" I addressed the added costs of deciding to buy a home outside of the city limits. Although your desire to be a homeowner may be strong it might be wiser for you to wait a little longer, and save up a larger down payment so you can afford to live where it makes the most sense for you and your family.
3. You are not willing to compromise
So, you've carefully and thoughtfully crafted your list of wants and needs when it comes to the desired floor-plan and upgrades you are looking for in a home. It would be a dream for everyone to get their entire wish list fulfilled when purchasing a home but the reality is there is no perfect home. You will need to make compromises and be flexible when looking at properties to purchase. There will be homes you view that have the amount of bedrooms you need but the kitchen counter space and worn out carpet leave a lot to be desired. Houses that have the entertainers backyard you've always wanted might have fixtures and finishes from the 1980's that will need to be replaced.
If you absolutely will not bend on any of your wish list items then you are in for a long and frustrating road. You need to have an open mind and a willingness to be flexible, not stubbornly rigid on your home search. You are not ready to start down the path of home buying if you have built a wall and pitched a tent in the land of the stubborn and strong-minded.
4. Your presence is required
Purchasing a home takes commitment and dedication. We all lead busy lives. Our jobs, children, hobbies, and other obligations pull us in multiple directions each and every day. When you head out on your journey to home ownership you will most likely view many homes in many different areas and neighborhoods. This process takes time. But do you have the time it takes to truly dive in to the home search process?
New homes are listed for sale throughout each day. At any given moment a home could be put on the market that fits your desired location and criteria. You might not be available to run out at a moment's notice to view the property but there are hundreds of other buyers which you are competing against that can. If your busy and hectic schedule does not allow you the freedom to look at available properties within a reasonably short amount of time, you will find the home search process discouraging and frustrating. You will most assuredly miss out on great properties when your lifestyle isn't conducive to home shopping.
5. Timing is Everything
There is a season for everything in life. Whether you're a young married couple, a single college student, or a busy family of four. Buying a home can be all about timing. Does the opportunity, finances, schedule, and timetable all line up for you to be able to pursue this life goal? If you are trying to purchase a home with extenuating circumstances surrounding you such as job instability, family health issues, or any other complicated life issue that you may be dealing with at the moment, it may not be the best time for you to purchasing a home.
The pressure to "strike while the iron is hot" can end up burning those who should have taken a step back and let that fire cool down a bit. I know there are no perfect circumstances and life has the ability to shift and change on us at a moment's notice. But if you are in the midst of a trying time or difficult situation perhaps adding the stress of purchasing a home isn't the best decision for you.
Just because now might not be the best time for you to purchase a home doesn't mean you shouldn't start getting a plan together for when the moment is right. Contact us today and we'll be happy to walk you through each step of the home buying process!