Buying a home is a big step for any family and one that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. As you start to think about whether your family is ready or not, you need to look at several things in your finances to make sure you can handle the responsibility of taking on a home loan.
These 5 signs you’re financially ready to buy a home aren’t the end all be all, but they are certainly a great place to start. If you can’t answer yes to these questions, consider putting off your home purchase until you can.
Is your income steady?
If you aren’t secure in your job or your income, consider waiting to buy a home until you’re sure that it is. The last thing that any of us want is to purchase a home and then not have the income to pay for it. If you recently started a job, you would fall under his question as well.
Is your credit score okay?
While it is possible to be approved for a mortgage with a less than stellar credit score, the higher yours is, the better rates you will get. If yours falls into the fair or poor range, spend a year or two building it up before you try and buy.
Do you have an emergency fund?
If your family has zero savings beyond your down payment in the bank? Please put off buying your home. Ideally, you should have at least 3 months of expenses saved up, but if that isn’t feasible before you need to buy, go for a $1,000 emergency fund. The reason behind having emergency savings is so you can still pay your house payment and bills should something unthinkable happen.
Can you handle the extra expenses?
Buying a home means that you’re going to have a lot of extra expenses. As a homeowner, you need to be prepared for everything from closing costs to property taxes and a new roof when yours starts to leak. Be sure that your budget is ready to handle those extra expenses when they come.
Are you still paying off other debts?
If you’re already buried in debt? It doesn’t make much sense to take on more debt. Instead, pay off the ones that are costing you the most money first and then buy. If you take on too much debt, you could easily find yourself overwhelmed and in trouble.
Buying your first home should be looked at from a financial stand point before any other. When you make sure that you’re financially ready beforehand, everything else just sort of falls into place.