The current market is perfect for homebuyers. There are great homes priced right, a huge selection and low interest rates make purchasing a home now seem like the right way to go. But how do you know if you are ready to take that leap and become a homeowner? Below are some things that can help you know if you are ready!

  • Your have your finances in order. Becoming a homeowner, especially in a difficult economy can be financially challenging. If you have created a budget and stick with it you are on the right path. Having good money-management skills are a must-have so that when you do own a home you will be able to have a smooth financial flow for monthly home expenses.
  • You have a sizable down payment of at least 20%. While this is a large amount of money to come up with it is important to have as you will start out with having some equity. There are options out there for zero or low money down loans but if you have to sell your home before you expect you can potentially loose money and you will also need to pay for PMI (priviate mortage insurance).
  • You have a steady source of income. Of course in a recession there is no real thing as job security but when you buy a home you are going to be required to have a reliable source of income to cover not only mortgage payments but all the other monthly and unexpected expenses that come along with homeownership. It is important to look at how stable your source of income is as well as having an emergency savings fund where you will have enough funds to cover these expense in case of a loss of a job or other emergency.
  • Your debt and credit are clean. Having a good credit score will help to not only get a home loan but will also get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Hold off on any large purchases such as cars before applying for a loan as this could effect your rating. Also review your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com before even applying for the loan to check for any errors.
  • You are ready for the responsibility. In addition to the financial aspect of homeownership, you need to be sure you are ready for the other things that come along. Things like lawn care, upkeep as well as unexpected repairs need to be considered as part of owing a home.