With the current housing market conditions, nobody can predict when is the right time to buy a first home. But there are some general rules that can help you decide when the time is right for you.
- When you have saved enough for a down payment. It can be tempting to go with a no-down-payment loan, but these are becoming more difficult to get, and (as many Americans have learned the hard way) it doesn’t leave you with much wiggle room if the value of your home decreases soon after purchase.
- When you know where you will be living for the next 3-5 years. Buying a home and then turning around and selling it quickly has become more difficult and costly. Make sure you will be able to stay in one location before setting down roots.
- When you have found a home you can afford, including the mortgage payments, insurance, assessments, and property taxes. Don’t forget the big picture – you’ll have to factor in any other new costs such as maintenance, and new furniture, too.
- When you have learned about property laws. It is a common misconception that when you own property, you can do whatever you want with it. But there are many types of laws that can limit your use of property, including easements, covenants, historic designations, etc. Make sure you know the laws governing a piece of property before you make an offer.