Buying a home is a major step forward in life and an exciting time! Make sure you don’t let your excitement blind you from taking an honest look at your situation to evaluate if you’re ready to become a homeowner. Before you start the home buying process, ask yourself these questions:
Does buying make more sense than renting for you?
In most cases, buying a home is a wise investment, but it really depends on your personal situation and location. Use this calculator to compare the benefits between renting versus buying.
Do you know why you want to buy a home?
There are plenty of great reasons to own a home, but you should know your own personal reasons. This will help you match your priorities, find the right home and stay within your budget.
Is your debt-to-income ratio less than 35%?
Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is calculated by dividing your total debt by your total income. Your DTI ratio should be 35% or lower before buying a home. Continue to pay down debt until your DTI is 35% or lower.
Do you have a good credit score and clean credit report?
Your lender will evaluate your eligibility to borrow a home loan by looking at your credit score. Make sure your credit score is in good shape before applying for a home loan. You can improve your credit score by paying outstanding debt and removing any errors that appear on your credit report. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has helpful information and tools to guide you through this process.
Do you have an emergency fund?
An emergency fund will help you continue to make your house payments if unexpected medical, auto or home expenses arise. Aim to save enough money to cover 3- 6 months of your expenses in your emergency fund.
Can you afford a down payment and closing costs?
Typically, you will be responsible for making a down payment and/or paying closing costs when you buy a house. The amount of these costs will depend on the home price and loan type. Your Homes for Heroes lending specialist is experienced in working with a variety of home loans, and finding you the right one to reduce these costs.
Do you have time to maintain and upkeep your new home?
Owning a home requires you to take on general home maintenance responsibilities and repairs. You should be prepared to take on these jobs in your new home.