We’ve always been told that purchasing a home is one of the pillars to life’s success. We run through a checklist in our heads of what we hope to have by X age to make us feel accomplished. From marriage and children to a stable job that provides sufficient income and a nice car, a house is one of those achievements that tops the list for most. Rightfully so! Owning a piece of property that we can call our own is no small feat and should be an achievement we celebrate and strive for. Understanding when the right time to buy is key to getting the most out of your purchase. If your waffling between the ideas of buying and renting, consider these factors before making the leap.
Location, Location, Location
Are you comfortable in your current location? Is this spot somewhere you can see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? Reflecting on your location is key to deciding whether you should buy or rent in your current area. If you are unsure whether you want to stay put or take up space in another locale within the next 5 years or less, buying may not be right for you at this stage. Often we hear that renting is about pouring money into something that doesn’t belong to us, but in turn for the rent we pay we can get a pretty nice pad to stay in, so it’s not a total loss, especially if you don’t plan to be in the area forever. In contrast, if you feel as though you want to stay where you are for the long run it may be best to start the buying process so that you can invest in a property that belongs to you for years to come.
Purchasing power is key
Before you can make a sound decision on whether or not purchasing a house works for your lifestyle, you need to gage your overall purchasing power. There are various factors that play into your purchasing power including credit score, savings amount, down payment, debt to income ratio and payment history on major debts such as past mortgages, credit cards and car loans. When determining your pre-approval amount, a loan processor will look at these factors to determine whether or not you are sound enough to purchase a home, along with providing the amount of loan you will be allowed to borrow for your new mortgage. If you don’t meet all of the criteria requirements, or are on the lower end of the spectrum, when it comes to purchase power versus your wish list, renting may be the best option until you are able to bring all aspects to pristine health. During your rental period, focusing on cleaning up your credit and saving money diligently for your down payment are key aspects of growing your purchasing power.
The future is now
If you’ve decided that the home purchase route is the right one for you, consider what the future may hold for you. Reflect on questions such as:
- Will I be married or have roommates now or in the future?
- Do I plan to grow my family?
- Do I want pets?
- Do I plan to host holiday gatherings, events or guests at my home often?
- Do I want to build on or renovate a home or do I prefer a move-in ready type?
- What floor plan layout works best for my plans now and in the future?
Although you plan to purchase now, or in the near future, you must contemplate your wants and needs that may arise in the future. This way, your home will fit your changing lifestyle as you, and your family, grows and changes. If you are uncertain of your future plans or prefer not to completely reflect on them at this time, renting would be the best option as you can, oftentimes, choose between a long-term or short-term lease agreement.
When deciding whether renting or buying a home is the right option for you, there are many different factors to reflect upon before jumping headfirst into your option. Consider factors such as your financial buying power, your debt to income ratio, your savings and purchase plan and your future personal goals. Understanding the full picture will allow you to make the best choice for you now. Still not sure what the best option is for you? Contact me today, I would love to help walk you through the process to determine the best route for you.