If you’re considering the possibility of buying a home, there are important things to think about before doing so. While there are no absolute rules about how or when you should purchase a home, it’s a good idea to make sure you are ready for homeownership. Here are five questions you should thoughtfully ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line.

Why do I want to buy?

Many people assume that owning is no more expensive than renting. While this can be true, it usually isn’t the case. You have to consider several key details before leaping into homeownership. For example, think about how long you will likely live in a property, how much rental prices are in the area, and what is the cost of housing in your market.  This information may lead you to a different conclusion about whether buying a home is better than renting.

Am I ready for the responsibility of homeownership?

Owning a home requires a lot of commitment. Mortgage payments, property taxes, long-term routine maintenance, repairs, and permanence in one place are all part of the experience. If you’re not sure you’re ready to stay on top of landscaping and lawn care, pest control, window cleaning, etc. then you may want to evaluate further whether buying a home is the best choice for you right now.

Can I afford to own?

Being financially ready to purchase a home requires preparation. Your financial habits and spending practices need to match your goal of owning a home. If you have saved an adequate amount of money to cover a down payment and several months’ worth of living expenses, you may be financially ready. Ideally, your mortgage payment should not exceed more than 25 percent of your gross income.

How is my credit score?

The better your credit score, the more likely you’ll be able to qualify for a better interest rate on your home purchase. When buying a home, before you apply for a mortgage, you can take steps to boost your score by maintaining timely payments on your credit cards and installment loans and improving your debt to income ratios.

Do I understand my mortgage financing options?

Buying a home is often the largest purchase a person makes in their lifetime. That’s why it’s smart to learn about how mortgage finance works. There are many different mortgage products in the market place, and they all can impact your home buying experience. Talking with an experienced loan officer will help you begin to understand the pros and cons of each. They can guide you to find the best loan product for your needs.

At DUFFY Realty, our team of real estate professionals enjoys working with Atlanta home buyers to help them find the perfect home. If you’re thinking about buying a home, call us at (678) 318-1700 for a conversation about how we can help you make that happen.