Buying a house is a huge decision and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. In most cases, it will be the biggest financial decision of your life, so carefully weighing your options before pulling the trigger is a good idea. But buying a home can be overwhelming; you've got to find a home in your price range, there's a whole new set of terminology to learn, there are loans to consider and there is a complicated legal world to navigate.
So let's make it simple to start: is buying a home the right decision for you at this moment in your life? Consider some of the following questions:
- Are you staying in one area for at least the next few years?
- Do you have a small cushion for a down payment?
- Are you comfortable with taking care of maintenance, renovations and repairs or learning how to do these things?
- Do you prefer financial and emotional security?
- Did you just start a family or do you hope to start one soon?
- What is your credit score?
- Do you have an income that can comfortably cover the mortgage?
This isn't a comprehensive list and it doesn't mean that you're not ready to buy a home if you didn't tick off every point. However, buying can be a great alternative to renting because it provides stability and it's an investment.
When it comes time to buy a home, you will want to consider speaking with an attorney. He or she can help you navigate the often tricky world of real estate law, especially for first-time home buyers.
Source: businessinsider.com, "The 12 key differences between buying and renting a home, in one chart," Emmie Martin, Skye Gould, November 22, 2016