The weather has been unseasonably warm and it has made everyone think about spring. It feels closer than it usually does in February! Add to this the fact that the illustrious Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, didn't see his shadow on February 2, and everyone is feeling very confident that spring is one step closer and with it there will be ideal weather conditions for viewing homes to buy.
But what if you are afraid of that commitment to buy? If you have been debating the pros and cons of ownership and can’t decide if buying is right for you, it may be time to ask yourself why you are still a renter. Maybe you are hesitant to take the first step and are wondering if you really have what it takes to commit to a home. Maybe commitment has never been your thing, or maybe the ability to move to a new apartment quickly has always been something that makes you feel comfortable and in control.
Well, there are ways to determine if buying is right for you. Simply look at the reasons why other people decide to make the commitment to buy and see if you can relate it to your situation, feelings, and lifestyle.
Here are a few reasons why people feel they are ready to commit to buying a home and stop renting:
They have not actually moved to a new apartment in years: It may be nice to know that you have the freedom to give 30 days-notice, pack-up, and leave. But, if you don’t ever actually do that, it may be time to consider that owning a home will provide benefits that far exceed your need for freedom to move quickly.
They have not switched jobs for the last two years and have some money saved: People buy if they feel really secure in the decision for a financial perspective. Lenders look at your employment stability and your financial obligations. If you have been on the job for a few years and see yourself there for at least another year or two, you may be an ideal candidate for a loan- whether you realize it or not. Job security equals a secure leap into home ownership. Money saved toward a down payment helps ease both the lender’s concerns and the buyer’s stress.
They are seeking pride of ownership: Though some people love their apartment, it is not really theirs- something is missing, and that something is ownership. With an apartment, permission is needed to change anything and nothing is really yours. But, there is a feeling of pride in owning a home, making it your own by changing and updating the décor and adding important amenities or improvements. Taking care of a home offers a huge feeling of pride that often inspires and fuels peoples’ decision to buy.
The time for dreaming is behind them and more responsibility is exciting: Many people dream about buying for years before they are ready to do it. When the time is right, most people feel very excited about their future, a larger living space, and taking on the role of homeowner. They feel motivated to get prequalified for a loan and call their Realtor to begin shopping.
They want a yard, more space, and silence: Apartment living can be loud, intrusive, and cramped. Many people just reach a point where storage and personal space outweighs any benefits of renting an apartment.
If any of these motivating factors sounds like you, it may be time to take the leap into homeownership. Speak to your lender and discover what you can afford and what you qualify for in a mortgage. Then, meet with your Realtor to discuss what homes will fit your desires, budget, and needs. Fear not, your REALTOR can answer any questions you have along the way- once you know you are certain that you are ready to begin.