Are you ready to buy a new home?
A new home is the largest purchase most of us will make, so it's not a decision to be taken lightly. People often say renting is a waste of money, but it can make more financial sense than buying in some cases. In addition, you need to consider if you're ready for the extra responsibilities of owning a home. (If you wake up and your sink is leaking, there's no landlord to call - you're responsible for having the leak fixed).
While it's normal to feel a little nervous about the added responsibilities, there are questions you can ask yourself to determine if you're ready to buy a home of your own. (Access PDF)
Questions to Ask
- Do you know why you want to buy a home?
- If so, can you list five of those reasons?
- Do you have a reliable source(s) of income?
- Have you regularly received this income for the last two years?
- Three years or more?
- Have you reviewed your credit reports recently?
- If your credit reports weren’t accurate, have you filed a dispute to correct the information?
- If so, has the dispute been settled and your reports updated?
- Do you have a record of comfortably paying your bills on time?
- Have you been able to make your current rent/mortgage payment on time without worry?
- Could you comfortably afford that same payment if your other monthly bills - utilities, insurance, taxes - increased?
- Do you have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses?
- Do you have money saved for a down payment, closings costs, moving, utility deposits, etc? (Apart from your emergency fund.)
- Have you looked into loan or home buyer assistance programs to have an idea of how much you might need for a down payment, closing costs, etc?
- If not, do you know where to go to find this information?
There are numerous online resources for learning about home buying - the key is to find a reputable source. Here are a few of our favorites:
Your Home Loan Toolkit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Help Buying a New Home from USA.gov
How Money Smart Are You? from the FDIC
IHCDA Homebuyer Education Powered by Framework from the Indiana Department of Housing & Community Development Authority
The more you know, the more confident you'll be in your decision. In addition to the resources listed, talk to your friends and neighbors to find out if they know of local programs or places to go for information. (Area bankers and Realtors are also good sources of information, so don't be afraid to ask.) Even if we're not your bank, we're always available to answer your questions. Good luck with your home buying journey!
The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Citizens State Bank and its affiliates, and Citizens State Bank is not responsible for and does not verify the accuracy of any information contained in this article or items hyperlinked within. This is for informational purposes and is no way intended to provide legal advice.