There are several things to consider when making a move towards home ownership. Many people make their decision based simply on wether or not they are financially capable of making the purchase. However there are many other aspects involved and here are a few to consider at the outset.
RENTING VERSUS BUYING
In Humboldt County, often, monthly rents are more expensive than a monthly mortgage payment. If you can afford to rent, it’s likely that you can afford to purchase. With rents on the rise along with the rest of the housing market, it makes sense to consider investing in yourself by paying your own mortgage instead of someone else’s!
Your first, most important step is to find a lender who can go over your financial situation and offer you insight into what kind of loan you would qualify for and/or how to improve your financial circumstances. If you are going to move forward in the home buying process, you have to have this sorted about before you even think about looking at properties.
Your financial situation can improve fairly quickly with a few good hacks, and even if your credit score isn’t ideal, this doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a home loan.
Finding a down payment can also be issue preventing some people from moving ahead towards their dream of home ownership. There are some creative ways to make this happen, though, and it warrants talking to a Realtor or lender before deciding what you can and can’t do because of the down payment.
THE MARKET IS TOO CRAZY TO BUY NOW
People often think the “only” time it’s good to buy real estate is when the market is “down” or it’s a “buyer’s market.” Obviously buying at the top of the market might not be ideal – especially for investors or people who do not intend to use their real estate investment as housing.
However, if your goal is to buy something to live in, the simple fact that you would be “saving” what you would normally spend on rent can offset a rising market. The details of each person’s individual situation will vary, but depending on your current rent and what you could afford to buy, even purchasing a home in a market that is “up” can make sense.
Keeping property as a long-term investment also really buffers the ups/downs of the market. If you’re buying to hold, it can still pan out, even if you run the risk of overpaying slightly at first.
OK, I COULD BUY, BUT NOT WHAT I WANT, OR WHERE I WANT
It’s important to remember that since buying a home is an investment, there are benefits to doing it, beyond finding your “dream home” or “perfect property.” Usually, you learn to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run, and sometimes real estate is the same way. You start small and modest, because that is what the budget allows. Making smart decisions along the way will help your options grow in the future.
Sometimes your dream home IS out of your reach, but buying a starter home is actually the best way to get to your ultimate goals. There are several interesting ways to leverage yourself to get what you want out of the real estate market, just ask!
The best first step you can take to becoming a homeowner is deciding definitively that you want to make it happen. If you’re still feeling uncertain or unsure of wether or not this is the right choice for you, consider talking to a financial advisor, lender or Realtor to get a better idea of what’s involved for you personally.