I know that we talk to tons of people who want to know if this is the “Right” time to buy. Frankly, many of those questions are not so much about is it the “right” time because mortgage rates are really low, and the Real Estate Market is doing well – many times it’s, “In your professional opinion is this the right time for ME to buy, given MY personal situation.” Granted, most of these folks are First Time Home Buyers, but it’s an important question.
Sometimes it’s a long conversation, because we want to know more about your financial goals, your lifestyle – if you think you might be adding children in the next couple of years . I can tell you this, it’s much easier for me to tell you from our personal experience – when you should NOT buy a house!
When You Should NOT Buy A House
If Your Dream Home Is More Than You Can Afford: Many times people go out to see homes, and then they are tempted to go above their “budget” amount. Often that happens because they go look at houses before they talk to a mortgage lender, and understand exactly what the mortgage payment will be (including taxes and insurance). Before you ever start looking for homes – we think it’s important to know what your budget is. How much do you feel comfortable paying each month for housing?
We often talk to folks about the difference between what they qualify for, and what they feel comfortable with – usually, folks are “comfortable” with a little less than they actually “qualify” for. It’s a budget process, and it’s one we believe in sticking to. None of us want to be house poor, because that doesn’t leave any room for the unexpected. If the price range you can afford is not somewhere you are going to be happy living, maybe you need to get a cheaper rental situation, and save up more money.
Weddings: Many times folks get a “picture” in their head of getting married, and coming home from the Honeymoon to their brand new house. I generally do not recommend that. Getting married can often be an emotional and costly event.
I personally suggest that folks wait until AFTER they get married to buy a house… or we suggest that you buy a house 6 to 8 months BEFORE you get married. But buying a house and closing a week or two right before the marriage is often not the best plan. I think First Time Home Buyers are especially vulnerable to this “dream”
What if the builder doesn’t have the house finished on time because of a huge rain storm that hits for 3 weeks?? Trying to coordinate a wedding and your first home closing within the same month rarely ends the way fairy tales do.
NO Savings After Closing: We probably have 79 pages on this website confirming that you CAN buy a house with VERY little cash out of your bank account. It’s true. But it takes more money than just the down payment and closing costs to buy a house. You’ll need curtains, utility deposits, moving truck rentals – there are expenses. If you are having trouble meeting all of your bills right now, and you can’t put even $100 aside each month for savings – then maybe you need to rent somewhere cheaper for 6 months, and build up a little savings cushion before you buy a house.
Again – you can buy a house with little to no money out-of-pocket – but there are MOVING expenses that you need to consider when you are budgeting how much it is going to cost to move. It’s especially important for First Time Home Buyers to remember this!
Relationship Problems: I know this might sound silly – but many times people who are having problems with a marriage will figure they can buy a house together to “seal the deal.” Our advice? Figure out another way to heal the relationship before you buy a house.
First Time Home Buyers should remember that there are several first time home buyer programs available through the NC Affordable Housing program. These programs include down payment assistance Grants, Mortgage Tax Credits and loans with below “average” down payment requirements. We offer all of these programs, however the NC First Time Home Buyer Loans are NOT AVAILABLE through many North Carolina Mortgage Lenders.
Call Steve and Eleanor Thorne 919-649-5058 to get pre-qualified and find out if now is the right time to buy a house – or not! Connect with us on Facebook or Google Plus – we want to help you buy your dream house!