Are you thinking of buying a house? If you are unsure, then this is the perfect article for you. We have listed 7 things you must do before taking that plunge.
- Acknowledge that buying a house is a long-term commitment
Unlike renting, owning your home can be a burden in a way because you are less flexible. Breaking a lease vs. selling your house is a completely different process. It will not be as easy or quick for you to leave, especially if you buy a house with a VA home loan. One of the prerequisites of getting a loan approved is that you must agree that the purchase is for you or your family to live in it. You cannot use the loan for property investment purposes.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does a home suit my lifestyle? Or is a condo a better investment?
- What will I do if my PCS orders come again?
- Am I buying the home alone or starting a family?
- What type of house do I need? A starter home or a home that grows with the family?
- Am I fit for the suburbs? Do I prefer the urban lifestyle?
These questions will help you determine if you are ready for the long-haul commitment of becoming a homeowner. It is important that your investment matches your long-term lifestyle goals.
- Take your time
When it comes to buying anything big, you should always take your time. You may be enticed to buy immediately if they offer you an attractive offer, but remember, a house is a costly investment. It will not serve you well if you make a hasty decision just because you are afraid that the home will be sold.
Even though your real estate agent will do the heavy lifting for you in terms of gathering the information, you should still do your own research to ensure that you are making the right and best decision for yourself.
- Focus on your budget
This is one of the most important things to remember throughout your home shopping journey. Identify and focus on your budget. Lenders will check your debt-to-income ratio, so it would make no sense to even look at homes beyond your budget. Another thing to remember is that even if your lender says you qualify for a particular loan amount for a pricier house, it does not mean you should automatically go for it. Choose a home you can live comfortably in whilst still being able to afford on one income. With all the uncertainties, this strategy will give you some financial wiggle room in worst-case scenarios.
- Maximize your tax benefits
The benefit of having your home is that mortgage interest is tax-deductible. You can lower your taxable income with the amount you pay in property taxes and interest.
- Factor in your move-in fund
You may think that your highest upfront cost would be the home purchase, but there is another thing you should prepare for: the move-in fund. You may need to renovate certain things and invest in equipment to maintain the home.
- If you are hesitant, rent.
After all these considerations, you may have doubts forming as you ask all these questions to yourself. In that case, the best recommendation would be to hold off until you feel absolutely certain.
Buying a House vs. Renting
Buying a house is a huge decision that will affect your daily life. It may be a great feeling to own your house, but it is still always important to be prepared. Renting is certainly a lesser and easier commitment than owning a home.