This will be a 5-part article about First Time Home Buying. A great article from Tara-Nicholle Nelson and Trulia.
Buying a home is not a discrete event; it’s a process - a sequence of events that happens over time, sometimes over as long as several months or even years! While general guides to buying a home are a dime a dozen, I’m excited to share with you some insider secrets you may not have heard elsewhere - one for each stage involved in buying a home. Here’s to helping you make the best decisions at every phase of your homebuying process!
Stage One: Deciding Whether It’s The Right Time to Buy.
Insider Secret: The market is the least important factor you should consider when deciding whether and when to buy a home.
Why: Everyone knows affordability is at an all-time high. Home prices are low, and so are interest rates. But trying to time the market is a fool’s errand; many who get caught up in that game of trying to make sure they buy at the absolute bottom will end up losing out on very, very favorable conditions.
Beyond that, the most important considerations when deciding whether and when you should buy a home are personal, not market driven. On today’s market, it only makes sense to buy a place if it’s going to be sustainable and work for you for at least the next 4-5 years [if your town's real estate market has been fairly recession-proof] or 7-10 years [if the housing/foreclosure crisis has hit your area pretty hard].
Against this “smart holding period” backdrop, smart buyers decide to buy when it makes sense for:
- their life plans (i.e., they are comfortable making the commitment to live in the same town, and the commitment to )
- their family plans (i.e., whether they plan to get married, have children or empty their nest in the time they plan to own the home - and the implications of these plans on their space needs and location priorities)
- their career plans (including, but not limited to: whether they have job or income security, whether they feel they will be working in the same area for the foreseeable future, and whether they want to work less or start their own business in the months or years to come)
- their financial plans (including foreseeable changes in income and expenses, e.g., kids going to college or making partner at the firm).
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