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Renting Versus Buying Are You Ready
Buying a home is a big decision and there are many factors to consider when thinking of leaving the familiar world of rentals for the housing market. How do you know when it's the right time to take the leap?
Luckily, there are a few things that set soon-to-be homeowners apart from those who might be better off renewing their lease. Keep these questions in mind and use them to weigh your options the next time your lease is up. They may help put your mind at ease.
Would you be happy putting down roots?
The biggest difference between renting and owning is that you're more likely to stay in one place for a long period of time as a homeowner. So, if you want to buy a home, you should be willing to stay in the area for at least the next three to five years.
Do you like your job? Is it stable? Could you see yourself staying there for the next couple of years? Consider your life outside of work. Are you happy with your social circle? Do you enjoy what your town or city has to offer?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, buying may be the right choice.
Are you financeable?
The next hurdle is determining if you're financially stable enough for buying a home. For most first-time homebuyers, qualifying for a mortgage is a must. In order to do so, you have to meet certain financial standards.
There are three components that go into getting approved for a mortgage. You have to have a reliable source of income, a decent credit score and a manageable amount of debt. Some savings is helpful also. Though each of these categories have their own requisite requirements, the general rule is that you need at least two years of stable income, a credit score above 620, plus as little debt as possible.
If your financial status isn't up to snuff quite yet, don't worry. You'll get there. Focus on stabilizing your income and paying down any debs first. After that, you can move forward when you are in better financial shape.
Are you ready for the responsibility?
Some potential buyers forget that house hunting is only the first step in the process of home ownership. After that, there's all the responsibility that comes with owning your own property. From unavoidable home maintenance tasks to budgeting for new property taxes, and the general upkeep.
Before heading out into the housing market, potential buyers should ask themselves if they're willing to invest time and money into their new property if it needs it.
If the idea of protecting and improving your investment sounds appealing to you, you may be ready to take the plunge.
As an Associate Broker of Exit Realty Plus in Salt Lake City, Pat Kiel has enjoyed helping clients reach their real estate goals with purchasing, selling and investing for over 20 years. She has lived....
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