Yes, the Spring season might be experiencing a little hiccup, but that doesn't mean that the world stops - especially in real estate. Professionals in the field have been on the go non-stop since late February, fielding inquiries and even putting in above-asking offers that signal the return of the spring and summer buying and selling season. But if you're like many who are still on the fence whether this is their banner year to buy, here's what we think will be an insightful article for you, mainly because we'll discuss a topic first-time buyers need to ask themselves: should you continue renting?
If you're in your twenties or early thirties, you've probably heard your friends, yourself, your family, and basically everyone in your cohort taking about the rise of real estate, and how it's a good time to buy. In most cases, the question is more specific, "when am I going to buy a house?"
Though some believe renters are already missing out on the benefits of homeownership, others think otherwise. Careers might take off, taking you to a different city, hence there's really no point in settling down; still searching for the "perfect city", etc. In other words, many people grapple with the decision of whether to buy or rent a home for a myriad of reasons.
And like anything else, there are pros and cons to homeownership and renting. Although each end decision is ultimately personal, here are some signs to help you along your journey or resolving the question of whether you should keep renting or not:
1. No savings
Sometimes it's tempting when you hear of low down-payment options for buying a home. But if you don't have an emergency fund yet or if purchasing a home would drain all of your savings, you probably aren't ready. Homeownership comes with expenses -- you never know when a hot-water heater will need replacing -- so you want to make sure you have enough money set aside for home repairs on top of the usual living expenses. This is essential, since you might end up damaging the the worth of the home if you don't have adequate "replacement and repair funds", something you don't want to deal with as a new homeowner.
2. Uncertain future
Signing a mortgage means you are agreeing to pay money every month to own that home. If you have a stable job that you love, this can be great. But if you are unsure whether you will have your job for the next few years, you may want to wait. Even if you've just gotten a new job and you are very excited, it may be wise to get a feel for the company before you jump into homeownership. You'll want to know whether the company is hiring or laying people off and what its financial outlook is to determine your own job security.
Most people keep renting throughout their 20s because they're not sure where they were going to be living in the next coupe of years. Your career might have you moving around the country with very little notice. Some stay in one state for just half a year, then move on to another for the rest of the year. This is only normal - you would want to be able to accept new assignments and opportunities that came your way without worrying about selling a home. If you aren't certain where you will be in a few years, or perhaps even months, you might want to keep renting for now.
3. No research
Buying a home is a big decision. In fact, it's one of the biggest purchases you'll even make in your life. You'll want to learn what you can about the local housing market, including the pricing trends, the school district, the fees (if any), and of course property taxes. Another thing to consider is how well you know the home itself. Sure, that roof looks good, but an expert may tell you it needs to be replaced soon. That's not the kind of surprise you want after you've spent a lot on a down payment. Don't rush into homeownership without doing your research. Ever. Think about how much you regret that impulse electronic massager buy at the mall and multiply it by a lot. That's the feeling of under-researched homebuyers.
Yes, you have to face your fears. But if the thought of buying a home makes you so nervous that you are making yourself sick or having trouble sleeping, you need to explore the reasons before you move forward. Perhaps you aren't sure this is the right time or the right house. Maybe you don't want to take on a long-term loan like a mortgage or you worry about being tied to one location. Before you take on a mortgage, it might be best to determine what is truly bothering you.
Need direction? Talk to us! We'll educate you on the market so you can have a better and broader view of things to come in the Boston real estate market. Call us at (617) 505-1781 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Avid tweeter? Tweet us @BostonIRE