Should You Really Buy a House Right Now?
Feel like you’re missing out when many of your neighbors are going from “for sale” to “sold”? Many agents might be hyping a hot market with low interest rates, which is true – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in your best interest to buy right now. If you fit any of these situations, you might not be ready to list your home just yet.
You feel left out.
All your friends buying new homes and you’re feeling left out? Cliche time: If you’re just wanting to buy a home to “keep up with the Joneses,” remember: If your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you? (PSA: If the answer is yes to the cliff thing, that still isn’t a good enough reason to buy a home.)
When your neighbors or friends are making big purchases, it can be easy to feel left out or to start judging yourself. But remember: Your friends won’t be paying your mortgage – so unless you can really afford it, you shouldn’t follow their decisions. Don’t fall for peer pressure (real or imagined) on a decision this big!
Affording a down payment will take creative genius.
It’s math time! Do you have enough cash socked away for a 20% down payment? Even if you’re looking into a non-conventional loan with a lower down payment, these other loans often come with hidden fees and expenses that will increase your monthly mortgage (like higher interest rates or private mortgage insurance (PMI)). Many homebuyers move to upgrade, which means a larger mortgage payment anyway – and with higher interest rates, this can quickly skyrocket out of your budget. And are you considering other expenses, like moving or renovations? Will you need more furniture in a bigger home? And will you have to make updates to your current home before listing? I can’t say this enough: Buying a home is an expensive endeavor, and you don’t want to be caught with your metaphorical pants down.
You don’t know what your home is worth.
Do you know what your current home is worth? If the market isn’t in your favor or your finances aren’t quite in order, there might be ways or updates you can make to increase your home’s value as you prepare for a future sale.
Note: I’m not talking about a “Zestimate” here. Even though Zillow recently reported that they’ve improved their estimating accuracy, you’ll only really get a good idea of your home’s worth by working with a real estate pro. Get in touch and I can help assess your actual home’s value.
You feel like (or you’ve been told) that renting is a waste of money.
True, you aren’t building equity when renting like you are when you’re buying a home. But it actually can take years to build enough equity that it effects your net worth. If renting works for your lifestyle (for example, if you want flexibility or move a lot), renting makes more sense than making the investment of buying a home. Or if you simply don’t have the means to purchase a house, your net worth can wait – it isn’t worth living outside your means to obtain! You can build your net worth in other ways too, like through your savings, IRA/401k or other investments.
You’re dreaming about a home … but not about homeownership.
Tired of renting? Well, are you also tired of free (or included) things like home repairs/maintenance and lawn care? Tired of not paying property taxes? It’s fun to dream of living in, redecorating and owning your own home – but homeownership definitely comes with its headaches (which aren’t nearly as fun as dreaming!). Home maintenance is an ongoing project of not-so-glamorous tasks that you’ll need to be prepared for as well.
Your dream home isn’t conveniently located to your life.
Maybe you’ve fallen in love with a home somewhere … but if it isn’t close to your job or your kids’ school, the “dream” might not be worth it. There are always trade-offs with homeownership, though if you’re changing locations, make sure you take into consideration all the other aspects of your life that will be impacted as well.
You actually love your current home (or apartment).
Maybe none of the above apply to you and you’re just feeling the itch to move because your friends or neighbors are doing so. Hold up! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Buying a new home of any kind is a big investment, and changes will ensue in your life. If you’re totally happy with your current living situation, don’t give into peer pressure. The grass isn’t always greener! If you don’t feel 100% onboard with the idea, there’s no reason to consider moving.
It’s likely that I didn’t cover your situation above – everyone’s scenario is unique. There are a lot of ins and outs to the buying process, and I’m happy to help you navigate them all. Let me know if you’re interested in chatting today to learn more.