How To Determine if You’re Ready To Buy a Home

How To Determine if You’re Ready To Buy a Home Simplifying The Market

If you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to buy a home, there’s probably a lot on your mind. You’re thinking about your finances, today’s mortgage rates and home prices, the limited supply of homes for sale, and more. And, you’re juggling how all of those things will impact the choice you’ll make.

While housing market conditions are definitely a factor in your decision, your own personal situation and your finances matter too. As an article from NerdWallet says:

“Housing market trends give important context. But whether this is a good time to buy a house also depends on your financial situation, life goals and readiness to become a homeowner.”

Instead of trying to time the market, focus on what you can control. Here are a few questions that can give you clarity on whether you’re ready to make your move.

1. Do You Have a Stable Job?

One thing to consider is how stable you feel your employment is. Buying a home is a big purchase, and you’re going to sign a home loan stating you’ll pay that loan back. That’s a big commitment. Knowing you have a reliable job and a steady stream of income coming in can help put your mind at ease when making such a large purchase.

2. Have You Figured Out What You Can Afford?

If you have reliable paychecks coming in, the next thing to figure out is what you can afford. That’ll depend on your spending habits, debt, and more. To be sure you have a good idea of what to expect from a number’s perspective, start by talking to a trusted lender.

They’ll be able to tell you about the pre-approval process and what you’re qualified to borrow, current mortgage rates and your approximate monthly payment, closing costs to anticipate, and other expenses you’ll want to budget for. That way you can make an informed decision about whether you’re ready to buy.

3. Do You Have an Emergency Fund?

Another key factor is whether you’ll have enough cash left over in case of an emergency. While that’s not fun to think about, it’s an important thing to consider. You don’t want to overextend on the house, and then not be able to weather a storm if one comes along. As CNET says:

“You’ll want to have a financial cushion that can cover several months of living expenses, including mortgage payments, in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as job loss or medical emergencies.”

4. How Long Do You Plan To Live There?

It was mentioned above, but buying a home involves some upfront expenses. And while you’ll get that money back (and more) as you gain equity, that process takes time. If you plan to move too soon, you may not recoup your investment. For example, if you’re looking to sell and move again in a year, it might not make sense to buy right now. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“Five years is a good, comfortable mark. If the price of your home appreciates considerably, then even three years would be fine.”

So, think about your future. If you plan to transfer to a new city with the upcoming promotion you’re working toward or you anticipate your loved ones will need you to move closer to take care of them, that’s something to factor in.

5. Above all else, the most important question to answer is: do you have a team of real estate professionals in place? 

If not, finding a trusted local agent and a lender is a good first step. The pros can talk you through your options and help you decide if you’re ready to take the plunge or if you have a few more things to get in order first.

Bottom Line

If you want to have a conversation about all the things you need to consider to determine if you’re ready to buy, connect with a local real estate professional.

Why Working with a Real Estate Professional Is Crucial Right Now

Why Working with a Real Estate Professional Is Crucial Right Now Simplifying The Market

Navigating the housing market can be tricky, especially these days. That’s why having an experienced guide when buying or selling a home is so important. The market isn’t exactly straightforward right now, and working with a real estate expert can offer insights and advice that make all the difference.

While today’s market conditions might seem confusing or overwhelming, you don’t have to handle them alone. With a trusted expert leading you through every step, you can navigate the process with the clarity and confidence you deserve.

Here are just a few of the ways a real estate expert is invaluable:

Contracts – Agents help with the disclosures and contracts necessary in today’s heavily regulated environment.

Experience – In today’s market, experience is crucial. Real estate professionals know the entire sales process, including how it’s changing right now.

Negotiations – Your real estate advisor acts as a buffer in negotiations with all parties, and advocates for your best interests throughout the entire transaction.

Industry ExpertiseKnowledge is power in today’s market, and your advisor will simply and effectively explain processes, market conditions, and key terms, translating what they mean for you along the way along the way­.

Pricing – A real estate professional understands current real estate values when setting the price of your home or helping you make an offer to purchase one. Pricing matters more than ever right now, so having expert advice will help ensure you’re set up for success.

A real estate agent is a crucial guide through this challenging market, but not all agents are created equal. A true expert can carefully walk you through the whole real estate process, look out for your unique needs, and advise you on the best ways to achieve success.

Finding an expert real estate advisor – not just any agent – should be your top priority if you want to buy or sell a home. As Bankrate says:

“Real estate is very localized, and you want someone who’s extremely knowledgeable about the market in your specific area. You should also look for someone with a successful track record of negotiating and closing deals, preferably for homes similar to the kind you want to buy.”

What’s the Key To Choosing the Right Expert?

Like any relationship, it starts with trust. You’ll want to know you can depend on that person to always put you and your best interests first. That means hiring a true professional. As Business Insider explains:

“As long as you’ve properly vetted the agents you’re considering and ensured they have the necessary expertise, it’s ok to go with your gut when making your final decision on which real estate agent you want to work with. You’re going to be working closely with this person, so it’s important to choose an agent you’re comfortable with.”

Bottom Line

It’s critical to have an expert on your side who’s well-versed in navigating today’s housing market dynamics. If you’re planning to buy or sell a home this year, connect with a real estate professional who will give you the best advice and guide you along the way.

How Do Presidential Elections Impact the Housing Market?

How Do Presidential Elections Impact the Housing Market? Simplifying The Market

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Some Highlights

  • Are you wondering if the upcoming election will have an impact on the housing market? Here’s what history tells us you need to know if you’re considering a move.​
  • Data shows home sales slow in November but quickly bounce back and rise the following year. Prices usually keep climbing. And mortgage rates typically come down slightly.
  • Presidential elections have only a small and temporary impact on the housing market. If you have questions, connect with a real estate agent.