Welcome to Week One of our “90 Days to Homeowner” series. Every week from now until the end of the year, I’ll dish out all you need to know about what it might take for YOU to become a homeowner. Let’s make your home-owning dreams a reality!
IS IT TIME FOR YOU TO STOP RENTING AND BUY?
Are you tired of the rent race and thinking about buying? Buying a home is a huge financial decision, but it can also be an emotional one. While you can find plenty of online calculators and quizzes to tell you whether you’re financially ready to buy, the emotional side is often overlooked. To gauge if you’re ready – heart, mind, and means – to stop renting and buy, think about these questions below:
1. Is there a “want” to buy a home?
You should never buy a home because others are doing it or you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to do. You need to have your own “want-to” and desire to purchase a home.
2. Are you ready to put down roots?
Buying a home is a more long-term decision than renting. You need to determine whether you plan on staying in the area for a couple of years before you sign on the dotted line.
3. Do you desire more privacy at home?
If you’re exhausted by noisy neighbors or need more space for family, animals, and toys, it may be time to buy.
4. Are you content in your current job?
Lenders want to see job stability. If you’re thinking of buying, evaluate your long-term employment plans.
5. Is your debt-to-income ratio in a healthy place?
Your DTI ratio is an important factor when applying for a mortgage. Getting debt under control before purchasing is always a wise decision. You want to make sure you can financially afford the added expense of a monthly mortgage payment.
To determine your DTI, make a list of your monthly expenses and divide that by your gross monthly income. The total is your debt-to-income ratio.
- Looking Good: 0%-35%
- Could Improve: 35%-50%
- Needs Work: 50% and above
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you might just be ready to buy your first home.