After years of renting and frequent moving, you may start to ask yourself: Should I buy a house? While many experts have weighed in on the pros and cons of renting vs. buying, the truth is the answer depends on your individual situation. So, if you're thinking about taking the plunge into homeownership but you're not sure if you're ready, here are a few things to consider. With the help of our down payment and closing cost assistance, you might find your dreams of homeownership more within reach than you thought.
1. Where do you want to live?
If you're looking to live in a big city, you'll have more options in the rental market. But if you want a quiet life in the suburbs with a backyard and white picket fence, buying may be your only option since rentals for single family houses can be few and far between.
2. How long do you plan to stay?
Major life decisions often involve asking yourself the tough questions like, what's your five-year plan? If your job situation is in flux or you plan to move again in a few years, renting makes more sense. On the other hand, if you're ready to start a family and settle down in a certain area, making the investment to buy could pay off big time down the road.
3. Are you ready to be your own landlord?
When you're renting and your sink springs a leak, your landlord will handle the maintenance and cost of any repairs. But if you're the homeowner, that responsibility falls on you. On the upside, owning your own home also gives you the freedom to do your own remodeling or repairs and to hire the contractor of your choice. Plus, you have full creative control of your property, which means you're free to paint the walls whatever trendy color you desire.
4. How important is long-term payoff?
Buying a house is an investment in your future. When you rent, you pay for the privilege to live in your space, but you don't own it. Buying on the other hand, builds equity, meaning that every mortgage payment you make increases your degree of ownership in your home. And if you stay in your home long enough for its value to increase, you're likely to earn a handsome profit by the time you're ready to sell. Plus, if you pay off your mortgage and stay in your home, you'll never have to worry about housing costs again.
5. Are you prepared for the upfront costs?
In order the reap the benefits of a long-term investment in your home, you'll need to be ready to pay a few hefty one-time fees such as the down payment and closing costs. If that seems overwhelming, CHFA programs can help first-time and low-income homebuyers pay upfront costs.
6. Have you used a mortgage calculator?
For many people, the decision to rent or buy boils down to simple math — which is cheaper? Using a
mortgage calculator can help you figure out how much your potential mortgage payment would be so you can compare that to what you'd pay for rent on a similar place. You might find that costs are roughly the same.
Think you're ready to take the plunge into home ownership? While it may seem daunting, remember that you're not alone. We can help you level up your knowledge with homebuyer education programs as well as assist you with down payment and closing costs to help get you the home of your dreams.
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