How to Know When You’re Ready to Own a Home

by Dandeneau Team Real Estate 10/20/2019

Owning a home is a big part of the American Dream. In fact, it’s such a part of American life that entire television networks devote hours of airtime to buying, selling, and renovating homes to riveted audiences across the country. So surely, owning a home is a good thing. Right? It all depends. 

Is owning a home right for you? Again, it all depends.

As with many things in life, timing can be everything. It may be right for you to own a home, but it may not be the right time for you to buy one. Before you rush out and engage a real estate agent, take a moment or two to determine these things:

  • What is your debt load? While you can carry debt and still buy a home, the kinds of debt and the amount you carry may impact the interest rate you get and the amount of loan for which you qualify.
  • Do you know your credit score? If your score is low, your getting approved for a good loan is harder. Sometimes things affect your score that you have no control over, like medical bills and even fraud or identity theft. Being aware of your score and any issues with it gives you a starting point toward improving it. If you don’t know your credit score, get your free credit report (you're entitled to one free credit report each year from all of the three major credit reporting agencies) to check for errors and problems.
  • What does your savings account look like? The down payment on a house is a huge chunk of change, and even if you qualify for an FHA or VA loan, the closing costs, insurance, taxes, and potential repairs run in the thousands.
  • Can you afford the house payment? Often, renters hear the statement “you’re just pouring money down a rabbit hole” and think that if they buy, they’ll pay the same but start building equity too. That is “sort of” true, but ownership comes with a lot of other costs in addition to principal and interest on your mortgage: homeowner’s insurance, homeowners’ association (HOA) dues, all utilities including water, sewer and trash, property taxes, and special municipal assessments. Can you afford all of these?
  • Are you handy? As a homeowner, you can’t just call the landlord when things go wrong. You are the landlord. So, if you can’t fix the toilet yourself, you have to hire a plumber. If the oven quits working or the dishwasher breaks, you have to repair or replace it yourself.
  • Does it make sense? Buying a forever home means you plan to live in it for a very long time, but if you're just in the early stages of your career, or have just started a family, buying a home may not make sense. Even if you're able to sell it quickly if you end up moving, you may not recoup the entire down payment, fees, closing costs, and money on repairs that you spent to purchase it.

If you need help assessing if you’re ready to buy, talk to a real estate professional or seek the advice of a mortgage specialist.

About the Author
Author

Dandeneau Team Real Estate

A Commitment to Excellence! 

Respected for their in-depth knowledge of the marketplace and an instinctive ability to understand a client's needs, Steve & Enza provide local perspective in addition to current market trends when working with buyers & sellers in Central Connecticut. They love meeting new people and asking them questions in order to find mutual interest and build rapport. They enjoy the challenge of identifying, analyzing and finding solutions to help the client achieve their goals. 

Their expertise in negotiating yields the best results. Steve & Enza take a critical view of the market and understands the subtle "personality" differences of the many towns within the Greater Hartford, Tolland, & Middlesex Counties. 

As a member of all the local, state & national realtor associations,they've received many of the Top Sales award honors during their 30+ yrs of experience, including the Greater Hartford Board of Realtors Yearly Sales award, President & Chairman's Club, Monthly Top Sales Person, Multi-Million Dollar Club, International President's Circle, Honor Society; President's Circle and Chairman's Circle - Top 2% Nationally at BHHS New England Properties. In addition to their real estate connections, Steve & Enza are well known in their community thru their involvement and support over the years of the RHAM High School Music Boosters, Youth Athletic Leagues & Soccer Club, Boy & Girl Scouts, PTO, the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce and, Enza has served as President of the Marlborough Business Association. 

Steve & Enza specialize in Creative Marketing for Sellers, Buyer Representation & Relocation for Residential, New Construction, Condominium, 55 Active Adult Communities and Land Sales.