Many renters question whether or not they should become a homeowner. So, how do you know whether it’s time to buy vs. renting? Keep in mind it’s not solely determined by your finances.
In addition to making sure you have a favorable credit rating and plenty of cash reserves, you also have to be willing to make a huge lifestyle change. Here are five tips to help you figure out if you’re mentally prepared to purchase a home and assume all of the obligations that come along with this responsibility.
1. You’re ready for home maintenance and upkeep
If something breaks when you’re a renter, you likely just have to put in a service request to your property manager or call the maintenance supervisor. Owning a home, however, means you’re now responsible for hiring and paying someone to take care of repairs or either making them yourself. Being willing to take on home maintenance could show that you’re ready to purchase your own home.
2. You’re ready to settle down and stay put
If you’ve found an area where you’d like to live for a significant period of time, then homeownership could be a worthwhile consideration. Experts say a home is an investment that is likely to increase in value as long as you hold onto it for a few years. Note: You should plan to stay in the home for at least three years, and if possible, seven to 10 years, because that is roughly one full cycle of the housing market.
3. You’re ready to make home upgrades
Do you dream about installing wood flooring or ripping out your laminate countertop and replacing it with elegant, durable quartz? If you can’t content with the lack of control over the interior design of your home, you’re probably motivated to buy property you can customize as much as you want. For instance, you may need to build out a workspace in a nook or closet if you work from home, and if you or a family member is disabled, you might need to make specific modifications to make life easier, such as lowering countertops or building an accessible shower.
4. You want more privacy and control over your living space
Tired of listening to your neighbors arguing, loud music blasting or footsteps tramping up and down the stairs? Homeownership can give you some much-desired privacy and peace. Animal-lovers also will be happy to have a place of their own where they’re not required to pay an extra fee or to ask a landlord for permission to house their pets.
5. You want your home sweet home
You can make any rented space a home. As nice as that space may be, however, it’s still not yours. Funneling thousands of dollars each month toward housing that you don’t actually own also can weigh heavy on your mind. With homeownership comes personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, which can lead to improved psychological health and happiness.
Ultimately, buying a home is an investment in your own future, and, if you’re both financially and mentally prepared, homeownership can give you a feeling of security and stability.