As the adage ‘Home is where the heart is’ suggests, our homes are much more than bricks and mortar (or wood and steel). Instead, the place we call home is where we feel happy and safe, where we create memories and where we grow together. Also, for most of us, it’s also our biggest investment that we want to carefully protect.
Given the emotional attachment we have to our homes, it’s not surprising that owning a home is one of the top goals for many. Although a common dream, it’s important to make sure that you are really ready – both financially and emotionally – for the responsibilities that come with home-ownership before you buy. Here’s how to tell whether you are really ready to buy your first home.
1.You’ve dealt with your debt
Getting your debt under control and steering clear of high-interest debt is one major sign that you are ready to buy your first home. Although you don’t have to be completely debt free before you buy, it’s a good idea to have high-interest debts, such as your credit card debt, paid off before you purchase. It’s also important that you have a solid plan in place for dealing with any other debts you owe, such as any lingering student loans for example.
2. You’re pre-approved
Pre-approval is another solid indication that the time to purchase your first home is now. By getting pre-approved, you’ll not only know that you are able to get approved for a mortgage, you’ll also have a clear idea of how much house you can actually afford and what will fit in your price range. As an added bonus, having a pre-approval in place also makes you look more serious in the eyes of the prospective seller, which means that any offer you do make will likely hold more weight.
3. You know what you want
Not only is it essential to understand how much house you can afford before thinking about purchasing your first home, it’s also important to have a good understanding of what you are really looking for. Remember, buying a home is not just any purchase – it’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make it. It also doesn’t come with a return policy.
Creating a list of must-haves before you buy is therefore a top priority. Remember to include things like location, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, yard size and proximity to work or kids’ schools when considering the non-negotiables for your first home.
4. You can handle the extra expenses
Finally, knowing that you can comfortably deal with any extra expenses that might come your way as a new homeowner is another sign it’s the right time for you to buy. In addition to things like closing costs and lawyers’ fees, purchasing and owning a home can come with unexpected expenses that may crop up from time to time, such as fixing your plumbing or financing the repair of your roof.
If you’ve determined that you are ready to buy your first home, you’re probably wondering what your next step should be. Many first-time home buyers choose to work with a mortgage broker in order to help them find the best mortgage solution possible and guide them through the process of applying for -and getting approved for – mortgage financing. As an experienced and qualified mortgage broker in Barrie, Ontario, I’ve worked with many clients to help them purchase their first home and make their goal of home-ownership a reality. Connect with me today at 705-315-0156 and let’s get started.