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How to know if you're ready to buy a home

How to know if you're ready to buy a home
Getting on the property ladder by buying your first home is considered one of the life’s biggest milestones and it’s also likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll ever make. 

Aside from finding the ideal first home and dealing with the sometimes-complicated home-buying process, there are several financial and emotional aspects that need consideration to establish whether or not it’s the right time for you. 

Here are a few pointers to think about before making your final decision:

Are you ready to put down roots?
Depending on the market, it can take between five and seven years to build up some real equity within a property, so buying only makes sense if you are planning to stay in the house for at least that period. 

Are your finances in order?
Before applying for a mortgage, you need to focus on minimising your expenses and paying off debts to create as much expendable income as possible. The last thing a prospective lender wants to see is that you owe a lot of money on credit cards or outstanding loans. Credit scores matter - there are lots of simple things you can do to give yours a boost, such as checking you are on the electoral roll.

Are you thinking of switching jobs?
Lenders want to see the you have been with your employer for a while before they are willing to give you a mortgage. This means that you can either wait until you have a mortgage and then move jobs, or delay buying a home and settle into your new job before applying. Usually you will have to have been with your new company for at least three to six months before approaching a lender for finance.

Do you have the savings in place?
A deposit is not the only aspect to consider when it comes to savings. You will also require money for any updates or renovation to the home, possibly some new furniture, appliances and moving expenses. Transitioning from a tenant to a homeowner means taking on the full responsibility for the property. If anything in the home requires repairs or maintenance, the buck stops with you so it’s a good idea to have a contingency fund in place.

Is it the right time?
Timing is a crucial aspect to homeowner readiness. Ideally you want to be ready to buy, but also be able to wait if necessary. As a tenant you don’t want to have another six months left your lease and lose out on the right home, you also don’t want to rush with only a month to find a home. 

Be realistic
One of the signs that show you are ready to own a home is understanding it is not always going to be easy. Being a homeowner takes time, effort and money. However, even though there are likely to be a few challenges you face along the way, the result is a home that you can call your own.

Ready to be a homeowner? Let one of our experienced agents help you – find your nearest Seymours branch, here. 

Full article available on The Guild of Professional Estate Agents website.