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How to know if you’re ready to buy a home

By Andrew Bell

Buying a home is probably the biggest single financial decision you will make in your entire life, and as such you should never enter into that kind of purchase without doing a lot of consideration, research and work. To put it plainly, there are plenty of things — both in terms of preparing yourself and examining your wants and needs — that you'll need to look at before you can even think about shopping for a suitable property.

Especially if you've never bought a home before, a lot of those issues might not be immediately apparent to you, and the following are just some of what you'll have to think about:

Where you are in life

Buying a home is often a question of timing, and you need to feel secure and confident in your current life before you proceed. Mint notes that this requires you to look at not only your immediate situation (such as whether you are mentally ready to be a homeowner, with all the responsibility that role entails), but also how long you will want to live in this home and what your overall future plans are.

Your financial situation

When you're buying a home, you obviously need to have a good credit score and sizable savings to tap for a deposit. As a general rule, anything less than a good credit rating will lead you to pay more than you might expect in interest, and you should keep in mind that it's customary to make a deposit of around 20%.

How your career is going

Having steady income is critical to being able to build a strong financial profile, but your career has other potential effects on homeownership, Credit Sesame advises. For instance, it might not make sense to buy a home if you might have to move for your job within the next few years, or you might have to account for the cost and hassle of a longer commute.

What you want from your home

There are some things about a property that you can't live without. For instance, if you're a growing family, you might want plenty of space and extra bedrooms, or if you love gardening, you might want one with a big, sunny backyard. These are things you might need to be flexible about.

What else is coming up for you

Even if you think a home meets all your current and future needs, you need to understand that things happen in life to alter those needs. Business Insider provides examples such as getting married or having a child could will dramatically change your financial and lifestyle situations, and as such you need to account for not only what your finances look like now, but what they might look like two, five or even 10 years down the road.

You understand the big picture

Finally, you not only have to account for the cost of buying the home, but also what ongoing ownership entails. You will have to pay all kinds of expenses for things like increased utilities (often far greater than what you do in apartment living), property taxes and more, all of which needs to be accounted for in a long-term financial plan.

Once you have evaluated all these aspects of your personal finances and found that you're prepared to make a purchase, it still helps to have a professional on your side — especially if you're a first-time buyer. At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we have closed countless sales for buyers just like you, ensuring they are fully happy with their purchases and that they can find success at each step of the process. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you start on the path to buying a home you love.

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