This post was sponsored by COUNTRY Financial®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Purchasing a home is a huge decision to make. There are so many deciding factors that play into whether or not you should buy a home. With support of COUNTRY Financial®, I want to walk you through a few things to think about to know if you are ready to buy a house.
We bought our first house right before we got married. For me, I loved renting! I didn’t have the financial means to afford the kind of house I wanted, or the skillset (or money!) for all of the upkeep! I was also able to try out different neighborhoods around the Twin Cities and not be tied to one location for years and years.
When Rishi and I got engaged, we knew we wanted to buy a long-term home that we could have for when we started to have kids. We answered the following questions to figure out a. should we even buy a house and b. how much house could we comfortably afford?
Here are some questions to think through to help you decide if it’s the right time to buy a home!
Are you ready to buy a house?
1. Can you afford it?
The number one question you need to think about is can you actually afford it? Many lenders recommend that your mortgage payments should be no more than one third of your total monthly income.
On top of that, you also need to factor in maintenance and repairs. Some lenders suggest planning for 1-3% of your home’s purchase price.
Using these calculations you can get a better idea of what you can afford based on what you make. We took a look at our income, the housing prices in the neighborhoods we liked, along with what we were currently paying on our rentals and monthly bills (we both had our own condos we were renting) to figure out what was a reasonable mortgage for us to pay.
2. Is your current job stable?
Obviously you never know what tomorrow will bring but having a good handle on how stable your current job and income is will help you in knowing if it’s the right time to buy a home.
If your current job isn’t stable or is a temporary position, purchasing a home is likely not the best option at this time. It will confine you to a certain location if you need to search for a new job and put financial pressure on you to make mortgage payments.
At the time that we bought our first house, my business was just getting going so we didn’t rely on that for our mortgage as much as Rishi’s income. His job was pretty stable so we felt very comfortable using his income as our benchmark for what we could afford.
3. Are you a handy person?
There’s a BIG reason why I rented for most of my life until getting married to Rishi. I am NOT a handy person and I couldn’t afford all of the upkeep of a home! There was something so nice about simply picking up the phone and calling my landlord whenever a shower broke or the air conditioning stopped working…or one place that even changed lightbulbs for me!
Because both Rishi and I aren’t handy people, we bought a brand new home to reduce the likelihood of things breaking down as quick! Even though everything was brand new, we still have had things go wrong that we need to fix. We randomly had our tub faucet malfunction which caused the ceiling in our dining room to flood after about a year of living there. That was a major hassle to deal with and an expensive thing to fix!
On the flip side, if you’re a super handy person (or married to one who is), it’s a lot easier for you to buy a fixer upper style home and redo it yourself. You likely have a good idea of how to do the bulk of the work yourself and understand the costs behind it.
4. Do you need to save your money for something else?
Everyone has different things they need to save their money for. Maybe you have kids and want to pay for their college education. It could be better for you to put money aside for their education rather than for a down payment on a house!
Maybe you’re single and want to travel the world for a year before “settling down”. That would make more sense to save for than a down payment too!
Think through your own financial and personal goals before making the decision about what you want to save your money for.
5. Do you even want to own a home?
Not everyone needs to own a home! If you move around a lot, aren’t home all that often due to a busy travel schedule or just don’t want the responsibility of owning a home, don’t do it!
Times have changed since when our parents were young and owning a home was a sign of success. Do what is right for you and your lifestyle when it comes to purchasing a home!
I hope these 5 questions help you assess if you’re ready to buy a house!
Thanks to COUNTRY Financial for sponsoring this post! To find out more about how COUNTRY Financial can help you achieve your financial goals, click here.