It’s hardly a secret that owning your own home is cheaper and an overall better investment than renting, but many people find themselves postponing purchasing their first home due to their own fears and worries about this exciting new chapter in their lives. While home ownership is certainly a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly, the truth is, most people put off purchasing and remain in the vicious cycle of renting for far longer than they should because they aren’t capable of telling that they’re ready to buy a home of their own. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not now is the perfect time to dive into home ownership, check for these signs that you’re ready to become a homeowner.
1. You’ve Mastered the Art of Budgeting – When you first moved out on your own and started renting, chances are, many of your dinners consisted of Ramen noodles and you found yourself struggling to pay the rent every month. As you matured and adjusted to the responsibilities of adulthood, you probably got better at managing your finances and paying your bills began to feel as natural as brushing your teeth. If budgeting is now second nature to you and you’re no longer in a place where you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you’re probably ready to convert that rent check into a monthly mortgage payment.
2. You Have a Steady Source of Income – Homeowners come from all walks of life, from waitresses to neurosurgeons. You don’t have to be pulling in a six figure salary to own your own home, and simply having a steady source of income that you can rely on is a good sign that you’re ready for the commitment of owning your own place. If you’ve had your current job for at least a year and can realistically see yourself staying there for at least another five years, home ownership might be in the cards for you.
3. Your Debt is in Control – Plenty of current homeowners have had their fair share of financial hard times, but most walk into home ownership with their debt in check. If your making your monthly payments in time and in full, you don’t have any outstanding judgments or levies against you and you have more credit available to you than you have maxed out, you’ll have an easier time obtaining a mortgage and will have to put a lot less work into purchasing a home.
4. You’ve Got Money in the Bank – Buying a home usually requires some form of down payment, and if you’ve got a substantial amount of money in savings it will make the home buying process a breeze. Having money in the bank is also important for affording the unforeseeable situations that arise from time to time when you own your own place, such as maintenance and repairs. It is important to note, however, that LGI Homes offers a no money down option to buyers, so just because you don’t see this sign in yourself does not automatically mean you are not ready.
5. You’re Ready to Settle Down – This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to get married and start a family (though it certainly could), it simply means you’re ready to have a place you’re comfortable with calling home for the foreseeable future. Most renters move every time their lease is up, which can be fun and exciting during certain phases of adulthood. However, if you’re itching for a bit of stability and a place that is all yours for years to come, now is likely the perfect time to look into buying a home.
Image source: iStockphoto (view source)