We all know that it isn’t that easy to get yourself on the property ladder. There are deposits to be saved, houses to find, commitments to be made, and the rest. It’s this last one – the commitment aspect – that usually causes the most trouble for people. How are you supposed to know when you’re ready to buy a home if you’ve never bought one before? After all, this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly!
Below, we take a look at some of the telltale signs that it’s time to finally take the plunge and get the keys to your own property. I’ve embedded some gorgeous Scandinavian home-style pictures too, just to inspire you.
You’re Tired of Renting
There are a lot of benefits to renting a property, but it’s hard to deny that there are a few drawbacks with this arrangement, too. The biggest drawback is that you’re paying somebody else’s mortgage when you could be paying your own. But for me, I always had ideas of how I’d like to decorate my home (I’m sure since you’re reading a home decor blog, you have to!
For example, let’s say you’ve seen an awesome Pinterest project that could transform your living room. You get all the materials, figure out the process, and then…your landlord says no. Like it or not, they’re the ones who make the rules; you just have to live with them.
When you own your own property, you won’t have to get permission for all those cool little additions. You’ll be able to set the tone and atmosphere exactly in your own creation. You’ll also be confident that you won’t be forced to move out of your tastefully decorated abode anytime soon against your will!
You Have a Stable Job
Yes, yes, a house is going to cost a lot of money. We don’t want to drive that point home, so we’ll just say this: you’ll want to ensure that you have a stable job before taking the plunge!
Ideally, you’ll have been in your position for a couple of years already, and will feel confident that, even if something were to happen to the company, you’re not going to be the first person out of the door.
If you have a close relationship with your boss, it may be worth running your idea by them. I was good friends with my boss and he really helped me during the buying process, and even came and chose the house with me. This is also good to do because if there is trouble up ahead that you don’t know about, they might tell you to hold off on the purchase until everything has been sorted.
You Like Your Area
A home is not a prison: you’re not going to be stuck in your town forever and ever. However, you will be there for a while, likely at least five years (any less time and you could end up losing money, moving is expensive!).
When I was making the decision on whether I should buy a house or not, I went for job interviews in London and considered moving away and continue renting somewhere else. After a bit of soul-searching, I found out exactly what was important to me, and what I wanted in the future. This helped me make a decision on where I wanted to be, and I stuck to my guns until I found a property in the area I wanted to buy.
Nowhere in the world is perfect, but if you’re thinking of buying a home, then you should be able to look past the shortcomings and genuinely enjoy where you live. If a person were to say to you that you have to stay in this town for five years, would that please or sadden you? Your answer will give a big clue as to whether you’re ready. Go with your gut, it’s usually right.
You Have a Sense of the Market
Buying a house isn’t just the act of going into a real estate agent’s office, saying “one house, please”, and then receiving the keys. Naively, I had no idea just how much was involved in buying a house. There are so many things to think about, from mundic testing through to understanding how leases work.
It’s a financial commitment, the biggest one you’ll have made up to this point, and as such you need to educate yourself about the property market where you live. Buying real estate is an investment, after all. Before taking the plunge, investigate what’s available in your area, how much the homes typically sell for, and what the prospect of a return on your investment is.
You’re a DIY Whizz
When you’re a renter, you’ll have had a landlord who would sort out on DIY problems you may have had. When you own a home, the only people you can call are the professionals – and they don’t come cheap. As such, it’ll be a good idea if you’re able to take care of the basic DIY tasks yourself.
You’ll hopefully have no major problems with your home, but niggling problems will pop up all the time – it comes with the territory of being a homeowner. If you’re pretty handy with a toolbox, you’ll likely have all the skills you need to keep your home in good running order. Thank the Lord I have a fiancé!
You Have a Plan For Your Life
It’s highly recommended that you have a stable employment arrangement before you buy a house. It’s also recommended that you have a stable life, too. Or, at the very least, a plan. The reasons for this are obvious.
Let’s say you buy a three bedroom house today, but then in a few years, you’re planning on having a large family. What can you do? You’ll have to move again. Before agreeing to buy a property, have a think about where you’re likely to be in your personal life in the not too distant future; it might save you from having to move home all over again.
Your Dream Home Is Forming
We all get lost in a daydream from time to time. For some, it’s a dream of their future wedding day or all the fun and exciting places they’re going to visit around the world. For others, it’s a vision of a home, one that’s loving and warm, and which is designed in their image.
If you find yourself getting lost in the idea of having your own home, then it’s a matter of when not if, you’re going to become a homeowner.Com’on, we’ve all spent hours looking at properties we can’t afford, haven’t we? Once everything else is arranged, you’ll be able to proceed knowing that this is something of a dream come true for you. There’ll be no reason to second doubt yourself when it’s this clear!
Your Finances Are Straight
Of course, there are certain realities to buying a home: they’re expensive, and if the process isn’t handled properly, can leave you in significant financial difficulties. One of the best remedies to this potential problem is to make sure that the other aspects of your financial situation are in order.
Getting your finances straights means making sure that any other debts you have are gone, that you have the money you’ll need to pay for all the other expenditures that go along with buying a property, and that you’re not going to be putting yourself in too much financial difficulty in the long term.
There’s always the temptation to buy as much house as you can afford, but while the novelty of owning a large home can wear off, the reality of expensive monthly payments will stick around for a long time.
You’re Willing to Forego Luxuries…For a While
And talking of financial commitments, let’s have a think about something else that’ll just be part and parcel of owning a home: the absence of luxuries. When you’re in the process of buying your home, and then when you eventually own it, virtually all of your money is going to be spent on the property.
It could be an extension, decorating, or anything else; it doesn’t matter. As such, you’re not going to have too much cash in the back pocket for trips abroad, meals out on the town, or expensive Christmas gifts.
These things will all return in time when the house is basically in order, but you’ll have to learn to live without them for a while. Don’t worry, it’ll fly by because you’ll be in the honeymoon period of living in your new home.
You’re Doing It For You
Society tells us, indirectly, to do a lot of things, and it has a massive influence on how we live our life. It can push us into a career that we may not want, tells us how to – and how not to – dress, and even, yes, makes us buy a property when we’re not really sure that we want to.
It’s important to be aware of your motivations for your actions at most times, but especially when you’re buying a house: it’s too much of a commitment for it to run on autopilot. If you’ve suddenly developed a desire to own a home just because all of your good friends have a home, take a closer look at what’s driving the desire.
It might be real, or it might just be a fleeting desire to conform that’ll eventually pass.
Ultimately, you’ll know when the time is right to buy a home.
You might buy your property before the point that it’s painfully obvious, or you might wait until all the pieces are in position before proceeding. Either way, you’ll have a sense that it’s the right thing to do – and hopefully, you’ll have the courage to make it a reality, too!
It’s not easy but will be worth it.