Most of us would rather own a home than rent one. It’s never easy to portion part of your paycheck going into someone else’s pocket just so you can live for the next month, which is essentially what paying rent is. The alternative to renting is buying. When you mention you’re looking at buying a home to your friends and family, you’ll get more advice than you’d ever have hoped for. While you should take what other people stay to thought, do not take it to heart and that means do not buy a house in 2021. The decision to buy a house is yours and yours alone (with your spouse and immediate family of course – but you get what is meant). Before jumping into a pool of mortgage debt and a decision you may regret later, here are some checkpoints each potential homeowner should consider prior to signing off on the mortgage.
You are buying a structure, not what is contained within the walls. So many times people sink their heart and soul into a home and think of it as destiny as opposed to an option. Remember it is always a choice to buy a home. There is no law stating that you must buy this home because it feels like home. Until you sign off, you can always opt out. It may have the spiral staircase you’ve seen in your dreams and the patio you envisioned holding multiple neighborhood barbecues at,
So you find out one of your ex-classmates just bought a home. Now your friend posted a picture on Facebook in front of their new house. Now you’re feeling the pressure to be like them. This is an extremely tough whirlpool not to get drawn into, especially for young people. If the choice was given to be either “liked” on Facebook or financially well-off, it wouldn’t make much sense to choose the former.
Visit neighborhood and talk to some of the other neighbors living there. What do they say about the crime, safety, and current trends of the neighborhood – which may help guide your home security decisions? How friendly are the neighbors, do you assess them as potential risks to raid if SHTF? Is the commute from your neighborhood less than 45 minutes away? What are the parks or schools near the neighborhood? Is it close to industry production, causing noise and/or pollution? How about HOA (homeowner association) costs? These are a few of the questions you may ask other neighbors in the area.
Real estate agents are just like any other salesman. Their incentive to upselling you is that they get a higher cut. And, like all rational capitalists, they want more money. They’ll try to sell you on the maximum house you can afford and even sometimes more than you can afford. While they may seem pleasant people you can trust, always take with what they say with a grain of salt. It is fine to consider the options they present, but certainly take some time to talk to the family before making any knee-jerk decisions that sound like good ideas at the time.
No matter how hard you try, there will always be speaking points that fall through the cracks. Most of us have no idea what it means to have broken window seals or copper piping. Ensure nothing is a question mark and have the home thoroughly examined by a certified inspector first.
For most of us, the purchase of a home is the most important financial decision we will make in our lifetimes. There is nothing wrong with mentally or financially preparing yourself prior to making the jump into becoming a homeowner. It could take years to save up for a sizable down payment or to find the right home for you. Just because a house is on the market doesn’t mean you have to buy it. It’s easy to get suckered by your emotions or the real estate agent. Attempt to remain as objective as possible and consider all options at your disposal. The old saying goes: “Home is any four walls that enclose the right person,” but in the end it is still only four walls.