How to Decide When it's Time to Buy a House
f you have been contemplating buying a house, we are here to help you think through the possibilities.
When to Buy a House - Factors to Consider
There are several factors to consider before you decide it’s time to buy a house. Here are a few:
- Is it better to rent or buy? You’ll want to consider your long-term goals; whether you will stay in the area; if you would like more control in customizing and making a home your own; if you are ready to make an investment in real estate; as well as a cost comparison taking into account taxes, insurance, and maintenance/repair costs.
- Are you financially ready? Have you saved enough money for a down payment and closing costs? Are you prepared for monthly mortgage payments? Estimate your monthly payments using our mortgage calculator and aim for that number to be no more than 28% of your pre-tax income. Have you considered the maintenance and utility costs of owning a home?
- What are your family’s needs and desires for housing? Do you need more space for your family or a space that is arranged differently? Are you looking for a yard, outdoor space, or a garage or more room to park? Think about home features that may be important to you and what will ultimately be a good fit for your family situation.
- Are you satisfied with the location you currently live in? Do you want to live in a different neighborhood or school district? Are you looking for somewhere closer to work? You may decide that you either want to be in a brand new neighborhood or you may want to live in an established neighborhood where the homes aren’t as close together.
- Are interest rates and market conditions favorable? Interest rates and market conditions are always changing. We can forecast what may happen, but can never predict the future. Are interest rates at a reasonable level that you can afford? Is it a seller’s or buyer’s market? You can buy a house in either type of market, but you’ll want to adjust your home buying expectations differently for each.
- Does the season or time of year affect when is a good time to buy? Spring/Summer is the busy season for home buying and Fall/Winter is slower. You can buy a house whether the market is busy or slow - there are pros and cons to each. In the busy season, there may be more inventory available but also more competition trying to buy. In the slow season, there are generally less homes coming onto the market, but you could have fewer buyers to compete with and possibly get a better price on a home.
Once you have carefully considered all of the above and decided it’s time to buy a house, get ready for your next steps!
When You Have Decided to Buy a House - Next Steps
Now that you have decided it’s time to buy a house - what next?
- Do your homework. Check out our free resources below and read up on important topics on our Home Buyer Blog to help you to know what to expect throughout the home buying process.
- Contact an APM loan advisor. The time to get your loan advisor is before the whole process begins! Our helpful and friendly advisors can answer your questions, help you find a loan program that suits you, and advise you on what information you’ll need to begin your homeownership journey.
- Apply for a pre-approval. Don’t start home-shopping without a pre-approval. You’ll be ahead of the competition and will know exactly what price range of homes you should be looking for. Your loan advisor can get you started.
As you decide when to buy a house, check out our free resources to help you through your journey!
We’ll take you step-by-step from start to finish of the homeownership journey so you’ll know what to expect and can better prepare.
Get your financial questions answered as you work toward your homeownership goal. You may be ready sooner than you think!
Deciding when to buy a house is a big decision. There is a lot to think through but we hope you’re closer to making that decision now that you have the information you need. Are you ready to take that next step? Our knowledgeable loan advisors are standing by to help!