One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog: Are You Ready to Buy a House? 4 Things to Consider

Are You Ready to Buy a House? 4 Things to Consider

Are You Ready To Buy A House

Buying a house is a huge decision. Whether you're transitioning out of apartment living or your parent's basement, you're embarking on a significant life transition.

House hunting is one thing, but once you find the house of your dreams, how can you be so sure that you're financially ready? Are you even emotionally prepared for such a drastic change? Here we break down the top four things to consider before you should ever say YES to buying a house

1. Are you Sure about the House Itself?

Buying a home should be a well-thought-out decision, but it can also be an impulsive one if you're not careful. Remember when you were a kid, and you wanted your walls painted bubblegum pink? That's probably not your style anymore, so unless you're planning on buying Barbie's Malibu dream house, you need to consider your style preferences for the long-term. You might think a bachelor pad sounds cool right now, but your future spouse and kids might feel otherwise.

Be sure that the house's general layout is something you think you'll enjoy for years to come and that any decor and remodeling changes in the future are reasonable to accomplish based on how the house looks already. You shouldn’t buy that cheap 1970s bungalow when you know that knocking out the chunky stair rail and ripping up yellow shag carpet will cost you far more than a few minor DIY home projects would.

2. Do you Have the Cash?

If you're planning to take out a mortgage loan, you'll need to make sure you can put down a substantial down payment. Most first-time homebuyers aim to put ten percent down. Decide if this is doable for you, and don't forget to ensure your credit is looking sharp. You don’t want any liabilities preventing you from getting a loan. You'll need to show everyone from your bank to the home seller that you are financially prepared to make regular monthly payments without any problems or delays. If you are uncertain about the practicality of a specific mortgage rate, use a home affordability calculator to guide you through the process and help you decide the rates that fit your budget. 

3. Is Location Key?

Location is another consideration you want to take your time with. Are you going through a phase, or do you like living in the city? Do you want to live in a quiet beach town forever, or are you getting bored already? Is living in the suburbs too cookie-cutter for you, or do you enjoy walking to that communal mailbox at the end of your gated street?

Don't jump at the first listing you can afford. You need to take your time considering your preferences, your comforts, and how important factors like convenience and privacy are to you and your family. Working with a realtor can help you find a location that suits your lifestyle.

You might also consider how important it is for you to stay close to family and friends. Some people like to remain in close corners with their loved ones while others could not get farther away if they tried. Consider where you fall in line with all of this. 

4. Are you Prioritizing your Other Expenses?

If you want a big fancy house but you're also a world traveler, a shop-a-holic, or an overachieving 29-year-old with a retirement plan, it might not be possible to have the best of both worlds. You might need to reevaluate what's important to you now and what you feel will become vital to you in the future. Before you dive into your savings or decide to put money towards a mortgage, figure out if buying a home is worth postponing your trip to Bali.

Buying a home requires that you make your selection with the future in mind. If you put your true desires first, you're on track to making the right investment.