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Can You Commit? Seven Signs You're Ready to be a Homeowner

Can You Commit? Seven Signs You're Ready to be a Homeowner

It goes without saying that buying a home is one of the biggest commitments that a person can make. So, for a first-time homebuyer, even the thought of home ownership can be daunting enough to scare them in to pushing off the decision for just a few more months… over and over again.

Of course, there are obvious benefits to home ownership, which include building home equity, receiving annual tax deductions and, above all, having a place to truly call your own. Still, the question for many first-time buyers remains: how can I be sure that I’m ready?

Here are seven signs that you may be ready to become a homeowner:

1. You Want to Be a Homeowner

Frankly, it may sound like a no-brainer; but, if you have never desired your own home, then homeownership probably isn’t for you. Many renters like the flexibility that comes with their lease agreements. Sure, home ownership also has freedoms, but it certainly comes with a hefty amount of responsibility as well. If you’ve never envisioned yourself in your own home, home ownership is probably not something you should pursue at this point in your life.

2. You Know How to Make a Budget and Stick to It

Do you have a stable income? Do you know how much money you have coming in and going out each month? Are you able to allot yourself a certain amount of money without going over that set limit? Being able to make and maintain a budget are two signs that you may be able to handle home ownership. Knowing how much money is coming in and going out will help you know if you will be able to afford a monthly mortgage payment. The best way to figure this out is to get pre-approved.

3. You Can Save… and You Have!

In addition to knowing where your money is going each month, consider whether one of those places is into a savings account? Just a few of the up-front financial responsibilities that go along with home ownership include placing a down payment, paying closing costs and even possibly putting down earnest money when you make an offer. Of course, that does not include the new appliances and any other upgrades you may want to make once you get in a home. Oh yes, and taxes, repairs, plus the cost of moving. If you already have some extra money in the bank, you may be ready for your first home.

4.  You’ve Given Yourself Some Credit

Does it seem like a lot that has to do with home ownership is financial? Whether you think you’re financially ready or not, your credit score also plays a big role in whether or not you’ll be able to become a homeowner. Get familiar with your credit score early and if it is not so great right now, give yourself six months or so to work on it. Bettering your credit score also betters your chances of securing a lower mortgage rate when you apply for a home loan.

5. You are Not Forever Indebted to Your Debtors

Hand in hand with your credit score is your debt to income ratio. Lenders will evaluate just how much home you can afford based on how much of your income is currently tied down to other debts. If you are slowly descending from debt mountain or haven’t even considering descending at this point, you may want to put off home ownership until your debts are a bit more settled.

6. You’re Ready to Sweat the Small Stuff

Remember how glad you were when you were able to call your landlord to fix your refrigerator after the door unexpectedly fell off a few months ago? Appliance and other home repair issues are commonplace for homeowners. Not only it is necessary to have the funds to cover any unexpected issues, you also need to have a little bit of know-how to solve some home repair problems. If you’re ready to take on those responsibilities, home ownership may be for you.

7. You Embrace Commitment

Finally, in some ways, owning a home can be a lot like being involved in a long-term relationship. It goes without question that buying a home means commitment. Are you ready for the long haul? No, you’re not married to your first home; but, let’s face it… some celebrity unions last no longer than a few months or years, which is far less than most mortgages last!

While there is no sure-fire sign that you are ready to be a homeowner, if you meet all or most of the above, it may be time for you to search for your first home. Find a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices' agent to help you get started today.