Are You Ready to Buy a Home? A Self-Assessment

The right time to buy a home is when both your financial and personal life are stable enough for home ownership. Affording a home is just one part of the picture; being ready to take on the responsibility of home ownership is an additional factor. Ask yourself these questions to start determining if you are ready:

  • Do you have a sufficient down payment?
  • Is your income stable enough to provide for your mortgage in years to come?
  • Do you have an emergency savings account large enough to cover your mortgage in the case of a layoff or other loss of income?
  • Have you discussed the pre-approval process with a mortgage lender?
  • How long do you anticipate remaining in the residence?
  • Can you afford a home that will meet your needs for that length of time?
  • Do you have the income to pay taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance on a property of your own?
  • Are you willing to cut back on expenses when necessary to meet the costs of ownership?

Only when you have the financial prosperity to own a home do the lifestyle questions come into play. Once you can afford home ownership, though, these lifestyle questions must be addressed prior to making the jump from renting to owning.