How do you know if you're actually ready to buy? There's a few indications. Though, of course, you must be mentally prepared to take on the responsibility of property homeownership, we'll cover financial. This means honestly checking in with yourself on several aspects of your monetary health.
1. Are you drowning in debt?
If you have significant credit card debt or loans, it may be an indication you're not currently ready for another, long-term, significant debt. After all, a mortgage might be the biggest financial commitment of your life.
2. Do you have enough money for your deposit?
Mortgages require a large deposit - and there's no wiggle room with this one. You'll have to prove to your lender that you have the amount available, so there's no getting out of paying the full downpayment. But don't forget, there's even more than a deposit - there's a multitude of other fees for mortgage preparation, broker time and advice, surveys, reports, and more.
3. Is the monthly payment 100% realistic for the long term - and by that, we mean the next 30+ years?
Your monthly payment is, quite literally, what keeps a roof over your head. You need to be able to make that payment, on-time, every single month - without fail. Otherwise you can risk losing your home and irreparably damaging your credit.
4. Ready to live in one place for at least 3-5 years, or become a landlord?
If you're taking out a mortgage, it either means you're preparing to settle down, or you'll be renting it out as a landlord. Either choice is a big decision...try to be as sure as possible about your goals before approaching a lender.
5. Are you moving somewhere with either friendly or handy neighbors?
Always expect the unexpected with a new mortgage - and that includes maintenance surprises. Are you prepared to either fix the plumbing yourself, call a neighbor, or pay for a handyman? If the answer is "yes" to the above, congratulations! It might be the right time to purchase your home.