Four Signs You’re Truly Ready To Buy A Home

Let’s face it – it’s fun to dream about the future and your perfect first home, but actually taking this momentous financial step will likely to be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It can also be an extremely daunting and stressful process for some prospective buyers – especially those who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge. Purchasing a home requires a great deal of thought and preparation, but the following four signs of homeownership readiness may help you determine your next move:

You have a budget. Establishing – and, more importantly, sticking to – a monthly budget is integral to understanding where your money goes each month. If you live by a reliable budget and plan your spending accordingly, you’re well on your way to becoming a responsible homeowner.

Your income is secure. Having a stable job and income stream is necessary in order to manage monthly mortgage, property tax and homeowners insurance payments. In fact, it’s difficult to qualify for a mortgage loan without predicable finances, and most lenders won’t approve you without this security.

You understand the responsibility of home maintenance. As any renter knows, it’s convenient to call your landlord when the driveway needs shoveled or the dishwasher goes on the fritz. Once you own your own home, however, the maintenance falls on your shoulders. If you feel confident about seasonal upkeep and surprise maintenance concerns popping up, you’re probably mentally prepared to own a home.

You’ve saved for a down payment. Although some mortgage loans require miniscule down payments these days, it’s financially savvy to put down at least 5 percent on any property investment. If you’ve got that – or more – stashed away, you’ve put yourself in good financial standing to apply for a mortgage.

Image via Flickr/toddalexander