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6 Signs you’re ready to buy a home

Happy mixed-race couple showing the keys of the new house.

Buying a home for the first time is one of the most exciting events in anyone’s life. In Woodward, Mooreland, and nearby communities in northwest Oklahoma, you’ll find plenty of excellent options to suit your budget and preferences.

A home is probably the single biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the process. Here are some signs that say you’re ready to become a homeowner.

  1. You’ve made the decision to stay in one place for a few years

    Buying a home makes good financial sense if you’re staying put for at least three years. If you need to relocate before this time, renting is generally the better option.

    Additionally, make sure you’re emotionally ready to settle down. A nomadic lifestyle can be very appealing, especially for someone who has just started to live independently. Ask yourself if you’re truly ready to set down roots, then find the right neighborhood for you.

  2. You want your own space and to have complete control over it

    Renting often comes with many restrictions. You may not make permanent changes on the property, own a pet, or come and go as you please. As a homeowner, you can make your property as close as possible to everything you’ve always wanted, and do pretty much anything you want in the confines of your home.

  3. You need more room for your growing needs

    Perhaps you’ve started or are planning to start a family. Or, you work from home and need a bigger space for an office. A larger rental can eat up a considerable part of your budget. It might make better financial sense to put the money into your own mortgage than into paying rent.

  4. You’re ready for the extra costs and responsibilities that come with homeownership

    Along with the freedom you get as a homeowner, you also get sole responsibility over your property. There’s no landlord to call for your repair needs or problem with the neighbor. Make sure you’re prepared for this, as well.

    The cost of homeownership goes beyond monthly mortgage amortizations. In addition to regular repairs and maintenance, you also need to budget for utilities, property taxes, insurance, and perhaps, homeowners’ association fees. Crunch the numbers to see if you can afford to pay for these on top of your mortgage.

  5. Your financial house is in order

    To qualify for a favorable home loan, you need a good credit score. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and a score higher than 720 is considered excellent. However, you may also qualify for a decent mortgage with a score in the middle ranges.

    Another thing to consider is your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), or the proportion of your debts to your monthly income. Student loans, credit card balances, car loans, and other debts are factored in determining your DTI. To qualify for a good mortgage, you need a DTI of 36% or lower.

  6. You have enough savings for a down payment

    Homebuyers typically have to pay 20% of the sale price as down payment, so it’s best to be prepared for this. However, first-time homebuyers may qualify for government-sponsored loans, such as an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan or a VA (Veterans Affairs) loan, which require little to zero down payment. Research your options and find the one that best suits your financial situation.

If you’re all set to buy your very own home, work with a Realtor who can guide you through the complex process. Get in touch with Katie McKinney here or at 580-374-5886. You may also email katie(at)smithcorerealestate(dotted)com.