Buying an Austin home is not like buying a new jacket or dress. It requires some forethought and preparation. People who are most satisfied with their home purchase research the process and understand their needs before they buy. Here are 4 questions to help you decide if you’re ready to take the plunge and become a homeowner.
#1 What do you most want to change about your current housing situation?
That is the fundamental question every prospective home buying must answer satisfactorily before embarking on a home search. Unless you can identify 2 or 3 specific issues that will significantly improve your quality of life, I suggest you defer purchasing at this time. Use as much specificity as possible when answering the question, quantify your expectations and realistically assess the likelihood of success.
#2 Is your job or other source of income secure?
If your job appears to be solid, remember not to borrow more than you can comfortably and confidently afford. Forget about exotic adjustable rate mortgages and balloon payment loans with short fuses. A boring fixed interest rate, long term loan lets you sleep well for a long time. Most people who got into financial trouble over the past several years did so because they borrowed money they could not repay without a lucky break.
#3 What do you anticipate your family to look like in 5 to 10 years?
Considering your short term needs while ignoring your long term needs can be costly and disruptive to your personal life. The young couple who wants a large family who buys a 2 bedroom condominium is likely going to be in the market to sell their condo and buy a home too soon. Buying and selling real estate is great for Realtors and Lenders, but not necessarily the best and most cost effective plan for the family. The in and out costs of selling and buying a home are significant and can usually be better used by improving a home rather than be eaten up in costs and fees.
#4 Can You find a home you like in a neighborhood you want to live?
Coming home to a house you don’t like in an area in which you are not comfortable is a prescription for disaster. It wears on you emotionally and begs the question: what did I do this for? The answers could have been discovered in the first three questions when a little soul searching may avoid a lot of heart break.