How sure are you that this is the right time for you to settle down in your very own home?
Buying a home is one of the things that most people grow up hoping to do one day. Who wouldn’t want to have a property as an asset in their name, and more to that, why wouldn’t you want to gift yourself and your loved ones a well-deserved home where you can put down roots and raise a family?
On the other hand, home ownership is a tremendous responsibility and should not be taken lightly. The processes before, during, and after buying are all intimidating and rightfully so, since this is a big decision that will change your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. So before you start looking for a new property to buy, make sure you are not experiencing any of these 10 tell-tale signs.
1. You have not done enough research yet
Buying a home is not as simple as pointing blindly at a property and paying for it; you cannot go into it without arming yourself with the right information. A lot of thought needs to go into the decision, like choosing the right neighborhood, picking the right bank or government institution for a housing loan, and zoning in on the best developer. Before anything else, you might want to consult with a licensed real estate broker, who can give you sound advice on the market. You can also consult an online real estate website to get an idea of what your options are.
2. Your down payment is not ready
The down payment is the first financial move you have to make to buy a new home. If you have to resort to feeling between the couch cushions or breaking into your daughter’s piggy bank to put together the money for it, your finances are not at a place where home-buying is a sound financial decision. Not yet, anyway.
3. You owe a lot of people a lot of money
If at this point you are still trying to keep up with your piling car loan payments, credit card statements, and utility bills, what do you think will happen once the mortgage kicks in? In fact, it is going to be tough to get a housing loan with your questionable financial situation in the first place, so be sure to take control of your debt first.
4. You will not have enough cash left over after the payments
Once you have the down payment ready and your housing loan has been approved, where are you getting the money for the rest of your payments? Keep in mind that home-buying requires a lot of other fees and taxes, like the transfer tax, documentary stamp tax, notarial fees, and real property tax. And then there are the moving fees, association dues, and utilities. And beyond that, how about your groceries, your kids’ tuition fees, your daily costs at work, and you emergency fund?
5. You cannot sit still for long
You are either constantly traveling, your job takes you from one office to another, or you just find yourself getting tired of living in one place rather quickly. If any of these scenarios ring a bell, you will not like what home ownership has in store for you. To really see the value of your purchase, you need to stay put for a while. Sure, you can sell if you have no choice but to leave, but real estate takes a few years to appreciate. If you sell after only a short time of having your property, you would be lucky to break even on it.
6. You have a tendency to job-hop
Like constantly moving from one place to another, changing jobs as often as you change your socks means a lot of things, the most common reasons being you get bored easily or you are in an unstable industry. Either way you look at it, job-hopping might create the impression that you are not credit-worthy, and could hurt your chances of getting approved for a housing loan.
7. Your future remains uncertain
Still relying on a Magic 8-ball to tell you whether to go out or stay in for dinner? As mentioned earlier, whether or not you should buy a property now largely depends on the future. This means, if you do not have at least an idea of what your long-term goals are, you cannot buy a property right now. What if you purchase a studio-type condo, and then decide to get married and have kids only a few months later?
8. You cannot decide between a house or condo, a single-detached or townhouse, etc.
When it comes to choosing the right type of residence, there are a whole lot of options out there, and the task to choose can be overwhelming. For instance, condos are usually associated with career-oriented individuals who want and need to live within the fast-paced city, while houses are for people who are ready to settle down and have a family. Of course, there is no rule that binds you to a specific type of dwelling, but you do need to take your time to really think about the kind that fits your needs best.
9. You are under pressure
Did you get together with one of your friends who just bought a new home recently? If you are about the same age, you are probably thinking it is time for you to do the same thing. This would be a mistake, as putting pressure on yourself to buy a home now will lead you to make rash decisions that you are bound to regret later on. It may have been the right time for your friend, but that does not necessarily mean you are on the same boat. You may not have the same responsibilities, needs, and finances that he or she does, so there is nothing wrong with taking your time until you are fully ready.
10. You are not responsible (or financially comfortable) enough for home repair jobs
This is the great thing about renting: you get to sit back, relax, and enjoy our cold beverage as the landlord takes care of your rental’s leaky toilet. And in most cases, if it is an emergency, you can call on him even at 2 a.m. to fix whatever’s broken. Once you buy a home, however, the party’s over. You need to learn to do these simple repairs yourself. If you cannot, you will need to hire a guy to do it for you, and you do not need to be told that that costs money, too.
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