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Thinking About Homeownership? Here’s How to Know It’s Time!

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Have you been renting for what feels like forever and wondering if it’s time to buy? The answer isn’t as straight-forward as many experts suggest. Much depends on both what is going on in your life as well as the real estate market. If you’re thinking about settling down or just tired of rent increases, these are signs it might be time to start the home buying journey.

“Settling down is interpreted differently by different people,” says Nicolle Morrison, co-broker at Century21 Northumberland Realty. “But if you’re ready to commit to one area and are tired of renting, it could be time to buy.” Even though the housing market can be tough to navigate, owning a home can often save you money when compared to renting, and additionally you’re building your own equity instead of paying off someone else’s mortgage.

“Although high interest rates can be intimidating, remember, part of your mortgage payment builds equity for you, not your landlord,” Nicolle adds.

Buying a home is a big decision and a good credit score and decent down payment is essential. Additionally you must consider ongoing costs such as property taxes, mortgage payments, and maintenance. Down payments can range from 5% to 20% of the home’s price. If you’re considering pre-construction, you might only need 5% upfront, with the rest paid in installments. It gives you extra time to save.

“However, if you are looking into pre-construction homes, keep in mind it might take a year or more to move in. New builds let you choose fixtures and finishes, but they’re not fully customizable,” Nicolle explains.

Another option is buying an older home that needs some love. “You can live there while making updates gradually, as long as it passes inspections,” she suggests.

Whichever buying route you choose, new home or resale, maintaining a good credit score is crucial. If you’re paying your bills on time and watching your credit score climb, then you’re getting your financial affairs in order to purchase a home. A stable job is another favourable indicator. Lenders prefer if you’ve been with your employer for some time, especially in a full-time, permanent position. When house-hunting it is best to refrain from large purchases such as vehicles as this effects your debt-to-income ration?

Timing is everything when entering the home buying market. When interest rates drop, home prices often rise, so jumping into the market now might pay off later. If you’re thinking about building equity and believe in the area’s growth, it might be a good time to invest. Renting has its benefits, but if you’re willing to renovate and want to personalize your space, it might be time to buy.

Don’t wait until you’re ready to buy to talk to a REALTOR®. “Realtors provide insights and resources that help you understand the market and the steps to homeownership,” Nicolle recommends.

Buying your first home might seem daunting, but you could be closer than you think. If you’re unsure, reach out to a REALTOR® for advice and guidance tailored to your situation.