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Are you ready for a home of your own? Here’s how to know

Buying a house is the realization of a dream for many people, usually the result of blood, sweat, and tears. It is one of the most expensive investments a person can make in life and thus, should require serious thought before making a decision.

The good news is that there are signs that will indicate if conditions are right for you to proceed with a home purchase. If you’re considering buying a house in Arizona, here are the telltale signs that you’re ready to do so.

You have enough money for a sizable down payment

The bigger the down payment you can make, the less monthly mortgage you need to pay. These days, a 20- to 25-percent down payment on a home is the standard. Anything lower than that and you not only have to pay higher interest rates, you may also have to budget for private mortgage insurance. Lenders require this so they can protect themselves in case you are no longer able to meet your payments.

You have good credit

Your credit score is one of the biggest factors lenders consider before they decide to approve your mortgage application. Most mortgages require a credit score of 620 or higher. If you have debt, focus on paying it off before applying for a mortgage. Aside from your credit score, lenders also look at your ability to make regular payments.

You can afford the payments

The home’s price tag is not the only expense that you have to pay for. You also have to worry about insurance, property taxes, city assessments, homeowner’s association fees, and the like. These extras can add a substantial amount to the monthly fees you have to pay. In fact, some taxes and insurance payments are more than double the mortgage amount.

Account for all the fees you have to pay every month and make sure your total monthly dues amount to less than 33 percent of your take-home pay. That way, you can still live a comfortable lifestyle with your remaining income.

You plan on staying for the long-term

Buying a home will not be as feasible if you tend to move often from one residence to the next. Ask yourself: How long do you plan on keeping the house? If it’s less than five years, then it might be better to simply rent a property instead. Then again, if you plan on settling down, then buying a home is a good option for you.

A majority of experts agree that you shouldn’t buy a home unless you plan on staying in it for at least five years. That is the estimated length of time spent paying off most mortgage loans.

You have a stable job

A steady stream of income is necessary to keep paying your bills. In fact, many lenders require proof that you have incurred at least two years of regular employment or income before approving your mortgage. Likewise, having a strong employment history is a good indicator that you’re responsible enough to proceed with a home purchase.

You can afford the upkeep

A house deteriorates with time and use. If you have leaking or burst pipes, missing shingles, damaged windows, and the like, you will have to shoulder their repair and replacement. This is not the case if you are renting. It is the rental property’s landlord who is responsible for maintenance and repair issues.

Any kind of problem related to the home’s upkeep needs to be addressed immediately, so you have to set aside a budget for this. Just imagine having a broken heater in the middle of winter and realizing that there’s nothing in the coffers to have it fixed.

You really want to do it

Buying a home is not something you get into half-heartedly. The consequences of not being able to fulfill your responsibilities as a homeowner—from making payments to upkeep—are dire. If you can’t keep up with payments, you risk losing the home that you’ve worked so hard for. No money to fix a leaking roof? You not only put your home’s structural integrity at risk but your family’s safety and wellbeing as well.

Make sure you’re fully prepared for all the responsibilities that homeownership entails. Ask yourself if it’s what you really want, not something that someone else told you to do.

If all the signs are giving you the go-signal to proceed with your home buying plans in Arizona, then get in touch with the Carol Royse Team to get your real estate endeavor started. Call Carol at 480.776.5231 or email Carol(at)CarolRoyse(dotted)com today.

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