How do you know if you are ready to face the commitment to buy a house?
Buying a house is a great commitment, surely one of the most important you will do during your life. That's why the best thing you can do before looking for a house and even compare the rates of real estate loans would be to take some time to examine your current situation and how it may change in the future.
- Are you planning any major changes in your life that could impact your financial situation? Such as changing jobs, or starting a family in the next few years?
- Can you commit to living in a house as a permanent residence for at least five years? Do you have a stable income?
- Do you have a stable income?
- Do you think you can deal with the arrangements of a house (or can you take the time to learn), or are you willing to pay a specialist to do repairs?
How much time do I need to finish paying for my house?
At Americasa, we recommend only considering buying a house only when you plan to live there for at least 5 years, but there are also other factors, such as the housing market, rental prices and how much equity you have in your home.
The benefits of owning a home:
- You are the owner and you can dispose of your property as you like without needing the approval of anyone.
- Unlike rent or rent payments, the interest you pay with your mortgage (real estate loans) is deductible from your taxes.
- You can find a real estate loan (mortgage) tailored to your budget and your goals to maintain a monthly payment without changing it according to the market.
- The homeowner or your “landlord” is responsible for the repairs and renovations needed on the property.
- You do not have to buy homeowners insurance or pay property taxes.
- Moving can be simpler since you do not have to sell the house or look for tenants to do so.
How to Evaluate Your Financial Situation Before Buying a Home
- Do you have a fixed income?
- Can you put money in a savings account every month?
- Do you have a plan to handle your debts, such as student loans or car payments?
- Do you pay your credit card bills fast? Keeping your credit low will help you qualify for a better mortgage or real estate loan.
- Do you have money saved for emergencies? A good rule is to have saved three months of income.
- Do you have money to face the expenses down payment (initial payment) and closing of the real estate loan? The ideal is not to use emergency money on these occasions so as not to put you in a tight financial situation
Determining Your Down Payment or Mortgage Initial Payment
How much you need for the Down Payment depends on what type of loan you have and the value of the house, but the more you can put for the Down Payment, the lower your monthly payments will be and you will save more on interest. Typically a conventional loan requires a down payment of at least 5% of the value of the property to be purchased. FHA loans require only 3.5%.
Next to the Down Payment you will have the closing costs, referring to the processing of the loan and the fixing of the interest of this. Also these expenses can be adjusted according to the value of the house and the type of loan, but can be estimated as between 2% and 5% of the value of the property.