Buying a home is still considered a rite of passage for many Americans today. Knowing you’re ready isn’t necessarily a matter of hitting a certain age or completing a particular milestone — though these can be factors for some. Below are five signs that you’re ready to buy a home.
- You’ve Outgrown Your Rental
For many people, getting married is the milestone that prompts them to forgo their rental. Others find that adding a baby or additional children to their family unit makes them realize that they’ve outgrown their rental — both physically and emotionally.
- You’re Planning On Staying In The Area
While the previous recommendation was that buying a home made good financial sense if you planned to stay in the area for three to five years, these days, a slightly longer window of about seven years is now suggested. That being said, the Charlotte housing market continues to be stable, offering numerous opportunities to sell if you should need to do so unexpectedly.
- Your Finances Are In Good Shape
Buying a house means more than being able to make mortgage payments every month. You need to be able to save up for the down payment — aim for between 10 and 20 percent of the home’s purchase price — as well as the funds for closing costs, private mortgage insurance and future maintenance.
- Your Credit is Acceptable
Having good credit not only affects your ability to get a mortgage in the first place, but it can also have a direct bearing on the interest rate you’ll have to pay. This, in turn, can increase or decrease your monthly payment.
- Your Rent Is Eating Up Your Income
Harvard University’s Joint Center of Housing Studies found that in 2016, about more than one-third of households in the United States — or 38.1 million — paid over 30 percent of their income to housing. Of those, 20.8 million were renters. Unlike renting, when you buy a home, you can expect your costs to remain fairly stable year after year. Over time, they’ll start going down.
You’re Ready. Now What?
You’ve done the research and the soul-searching and realized that you’re ready to buy a home. The Charlotte real estate market continues to be in demand. This is especially true since the interest rates continue to drop, making it more affordable than ever to purchase a home. Take these steps to position yourself favorably for securing the home of your dreams.
- Check Your Credit Report
Before you head to a lender or your bank, take advantage of the federal law that allows you to get a free copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies. Annual Credit Report.com is the site authorized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for this purpose. Once you’ve obtained your credit report, look it over thoroughly to determine if there are any questionable areas that need to be addressed.
- Get Preapproved
When you find a house you like, chances are there will be other home buyers who are interested in it as well. Being preapproved gives you a leg up on others who might not have evidence of their financial backing. Knowing that you have a preapproval from a lending institution could also sway a home seller who is in a hurry to move on.
- Find The Right Real Estate Agent
Working with Charlotte realtors puts a professional in your corner. While exciting, the home buying process can also be stressful and it comes with its own set of rules and expectations. Not only can a real estate agent explain everything to you, but they are experts at matching homes with buyers.
The best time to buy a house is different for everyone but the above tips can help. Tap into the expertise Charlotte realtors offer and make the process easier.