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Several factors influence whether it may be a good time for you to buy a home. Make sure you consider the complete picture before you decide.
Managing a mortgage, insurance, property taxes, utilities, and ongoing home maintenance requires commitment, so make sure you’re ready to take on these financial responsibilities before you buy. Purchasing a home is also a long-term decision, as changing locations on short notice becomes much more complicated as a homeowner. So, before you commit, be sure to determine whether you’ll be comfortable in the home and neighborhood you choose.
The interest you pay on your home loan will depend on the current market, your lender, the type of loan you get, your credit score, and many other factors. Ideally, you want to take advantage of lower interest rates to reduce your monthly payment and the amount you will pay over the lifetime of your loan. Lenders generally will offer lower interest rates to borrowers with a stronger credit score.
A buyer’s market, in which there are more homes for sale than buyers to purchase them, may signify that it’s a good time to buy a home. Sellers in these markets often offer competitive pricing, which means you may be able to get more home for your money. Plus, this means there will be more homes on the market to choose from.
Homebuyers are expected to make a down payment on the home. A larger down payment will typically result in lower monthly payments. If your down payment is lower than 20%, your lender may require you to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), or pay other types of insurance or fees. Most lenders will also expect you to cover closing costs, which may be equivalent to about 3% to 5% of your loan amount but can be higher in some areas. Your real estate agent can help you estimate the costs.
There are typically more homes for sale during the spring and summer months, when the weather is nice and children are out of school. Shopping during these seasons will likely give you a broader selection to choose from.
It can be hard to pinpoint the “perfect” time to buy a home. But by creating a comprehensive financial plan that takes your individual goals into account, you’ll be able to reach this personal milestone at a time that’s right for you.
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