1. Interest rates are good.
When interest rates are low, it’s a good time to buy because that means you’ll be paying less in the long run. Interest rates are looking good right now but they’re going to be rising soon. Historically low right now but are projected to creep up to 5 or 6% within the next year. To keep up, check out our Weekly Mortgage Watch.
2. Still living with mom and dad
There’s nothing wrong with moving back into the family home after college or when times get tough. A recent study shows 85% of college graduates move back home once they’re finished with school. You’re not alone but make sure you’re being smart about finances and take advantage of the saving power you possess! You’re probably not paying rent, there’s food in the refrigerator so you won’t starve and you’re not paying any bills like electric, trash or water. Buckle down and make a financial plan for yourself, you may be able to afford a place of your own sooner than you thought. As a first time home buyer there a programs out there to help you and something called an FHA loan you should be taking advantage of.
3. You have an income.
If you have a steady income then even if you’re not ready to buy a house now, you could be soon. All it takes is a bit of planning and determination and you could be ready to buy a house in no time. Don’t forget, a great way to break into real estate and start building equity is with a townhome or condo. Take a look, you might be surprised what you can afford! Here are some quick tips on what to focus on financially to prepare for buying:
Save toward a deposit. The bigger the deposit, the smaller your monthly mortgage will be.
Check your credit and improve it if you can. You can get one free credit check a year from each credit reporting company. If you have less than perfect credit don’t worry, there are ways to improve your credit score.
Make a budget and stick to it. If you don’t have one already, make a budget for yourself. Set aside money for food, rent, gas, car payments if you have them, phone bill, and then put the rest in saving. Even if you don’t have a steady income, you should be able to put some money away if you’re paying close attention to where it all goes. It’s so easy to pick up a Starbucks coffee here or there and spend money without thinking about the repercussions to your bank account, but take control of your expenses and save your money for something important to your future – like a home.
4. You need more space.
If you’re renting an apartment you probably have no yard or outdoor space of your own and lack any semblance of storage space for all that life you’ve accumulated. And if you’re living with roommates you don’t have control of the TV, you have to share limited kitchen and pantry space, and you can only claim a small part of your living quarters as your own. If any of this is sounding familiar, you know it’s time to ditch your cramped living quarters and upgrade to a real home that can fit the life you’ve worked so hard to build.
Whether you have a furry friend or have been waiting to grow the family until you have more space, a house is the best environment for most pets. While the goldfish was fun for a few days, it doesn’t provide the same companionship and love as a dog or cat. Most apartments don’t allow pets or charge extra fees for them but when you have your own house, you call the shots. If you’re craving a furry addition to the family, it’s time to make room for one.
6. You’re settled in.
If your job, family, friends and life are all in one place and you will be too for a while, then you’re ready to invest in something more permanent than an apartment. If you can see yourself staying where you are for the next 5 years at least, you’re ready to make the commitment to home ownership. Why not start putting your monthly living payments toward your future with a mortgage rather than throwing it away on rent?
7. You’re ready to build a home.
When you rent, you are living in someone else’s space, just visiting for a period of time with restrictions and an expiration date. But when you own a house you can paint the walls whatever color you want, decorate from top to bottom and finally get comfortable. With your own home you can truly settle down and into your life.