Should you rent or buy a home?
There is no “Yes” or “No” answer here. The question you really need to ask yourself is what can you afford right now and what does your lifestyle look like?
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions a person will make in their lifetime. It will most likely be the most expensive purchase you will ever make. It is not a decision you want to make lightly and there are a few things you need to factor in before making the decision.
The Ask Cathy group has worked with thousands of clients over the years and have seen it all. Here are some of the things we recommend thinking about when making your decision.
First and foremost, start with the following:
- Where do you want to live?
- What is my monthly budget?
- How much could I put down?
- How long do I want to live in the area?
- What is the cost of renting a similar-sized space?
Next, you will want to do the following:
Come Up with a Budget
- It is hard to make a big decision like buying a home if you don’t know what your monthly budget is and where your money goes. Conduct an audit of how much you’re spending each month vs how much income you earn each month. This will help you to have a better idea of how much money you do (or don’t have) and if there are areas you could be saving money.
Calculate Your Mortgage
- If you buy a house for $200,000 what is the monthly payment? Or if you want to keep your monthly payment to only $1500 a month, at what price point should you look? How much house can you afford?
- Don’t forget the costs of homeownership goes beyond just your monthly payment. Things to consider are Homeowner Association fees (HOA) if applicable, lawn maintenance, house repairs, utilities, furniture, etc.
- What does this mean exactly? You can subtract what you paid on your mortgage from your tax bill. This lowers what you owe in taxes. According to Turbotax.com, for most people, the biggest tax break from owning a home comes from deducting mortgage interest payments. To learn more about your tax breaks, it is best to contact your Tax Professional to get the breakdown that best fits your situation.
- Consider the security of your income. Do you have steady paychecks you can depend on to pay your mortgage? Is your job security uncertain? Do you like to change jobs every few months? If you answered yes, it might be in your best interested to hold off on buying a home.
- Its never too early to talk to a lender. Heck, talk to more than one mortgage lender. Did you know you can shop around for mortgage interest rates? Rates do go up and down. A mortgage broker can shop for you and find you the best rates. To find recommended mortgage lenders, click here.
Commit to a Buyers Agent
- When you are ready to start your search, find a buyer’s agent- They are FREE (usually covered by whoever listed the property you buy)! Once you sign with a buyer’s agent, they can help you search for the right house in places you never dreamed possible. Agents get the scoop on houses for sale that are not listed yet or they usually know what is ‘coming soon’ on the market for sale.
Slightly overwhelmed? That’s OK! We are here to help you. Our team is here to guide you through the process, from viewing homes and financing, to making sure the final contract is in your best interest. Get to know why buyers choose us time after time here.