There comes a point in all our lives when we begin to think about buying a house.
It could be that you’ve met someone you want to build your life together with. Could it be that you’re just tired of paying rent, when you could be paying off a mortgage and actually contributing to your own financial future? Or, you are just ready for a change in scenery, community, or are craving a bigger or small space.
However, while you might have these ideas, how do you know when is the right time to act upon them and buy your first house?
There are certainly pros and cons of becoming a homeowner, in my opinion the pros outweigh the cons.
When I graduated college in 2010 I lived in multiple rental properties. At that time, I had my German Shepherd Chow mix, Leo. So, renting a property with a big fluffy dog, always posed its problems.
Caleb and I bought our current home in Bay View, shortly after getting engaged in October of 2016. I remember stumbling upon this dreamy listing with the perfect open-concept kitchen, big backyard, tons of window light, easy freeway access, and beautiful 1800’s charm. Once I laid eyes on this home I literally couldn’t think of anything else until April of 2016 we moved in!
Although “the 1888 Home” had me in a daze, Caleb and I did some homework and made sure it was the right time for us to buy a new house.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help decide if you’re ready to buy a house.
Are You Ready to Settle?
At, this time, we were living together in Caleb’s first home in Walker’s Point, so we were already paying towards that mortgage and in an ideal financial position to upgrade our home. We were newly engaged, had solid savings reserved, and were ready to buy our first home together.
If you’re looking to buy a home, make sure you are ready to settle in one spot for at least a little while. Make sure you reel in your wild dreams of moving overseas or across the country, at least for a little while. I always am tossing the idea around of moving to Iceland and building a tiny home or moving to Arizona – but, I realized these were just dreams and the 1888 home was a good grounding.
My advice, if there’s still something burning on your bucket list, it could be a good idea to get it ticked off before you make an offer on a home. Caleb and I have been to Iceland 4 times and try to get to Arizona at least once a year to relieve my travel bug itch!
Are Your Finances In Check?
You might in your mind be ready to buy a home, but you need to take a hard look at your finances to decide if it is a realistic possibility. You’ll need to be on sound financial footing before you invest in a property. According to , you shouldn’t spend more than 28% of your monthly income, before taxes, on your mortgage.
There are ways to make buying a property easier to manage, finance-wise. It’s recommended that you save up as much as you can for a deposit, do your research and work with a company that offers great mortgage rates, such as Altrua Financial.
Once you’ve figured out your budget, the fun part of searching for your perfect home begins!
Have You Researched the Community?
People seem to think that buying a home is all about the four walls and roof of the property itself, but this is not the case, it’s also about the area in which it resides.
Caleb and I made a check-list before choosing Bay View and we also drove and walked around the area to see how it would “feel” to live there. Our stress levels and time are important to us, so we spent time on google maps to see if the move would improve our commutes to work and job sites.
Are You Up for the Challenge of Being a Home Owner?
Finally, be sure to have a realistic view of what buying and owning a house entails. There are good points and bad points. There are people who regret the decision precisely because they thought it would be different. But, if you know what it’s good for, and the potential downsides, then you’ll be going into the venture with realistic expectations.
Being a homeowner isn’t always easy. There are some days that are extremely stressful, like when you get excessive rainfall in the Spring and your basement floods. Or, when you realize having a large yard requires lots of time and effort to keep in good shape.
But, being a homeowner is so much fun! As a homeowner, you have the freedom to do what you will with your space! Homeowners can make both cosmetic and functional home improvements without having to get permission and approvals from your landlord. Investing in remodels and upgrades to your home can significantly pay off in the long run, if you ever were to sell your home and move again.
Additionally, not only do homeowners have the ability to make home improvements for aesthetic purposes, but they can also make improvements that will serve as a valuable investment down the road. When you are renting, you do not gain any sort of monetary value if you improve the property.
If you’ve weighed it up and still want to proceed, then you’ll be ready to buy your home!