9 Signs You’re Ready for a New Home
Homeownership is one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make. We understand that buying a new home is a big decision and the process can sometimes seem a little overwhelming.
But, in addition to being an investment in your financial future and security, it’s also a huge investment in your happiness. And it’s a decision you can feel good about, take pride in, and be excited for!
Do you think you might be ready for a new home? Read through these nine signs and work through the handy checklist to see if you’re right.
1. You Feel Like Your Old Space Just Doesn’t Fit
Whether you’re renting or you already own your own home, there’s probably going to come a time when you just feel like your old place no longer fits you.
No matter what your situation, when you start to feel that the space you’re in just doesn’t feel right for you, it’s time to consider a new home.
2. You Have a Steady and Reliable Source of Income
Buying a home means a lot of responsibility and, depending on the terms of your mortgage, you’ll be committed to making payments for the next few years. For this reason, you want to make sure you’ll be able to make steady payments on a predictable schedule. Here are some things to be aware of when planning for the next few years…
When calculating your debt, be sure to include:
• Monthly housing costs like the actual mortgage payment, insurance, property taxes and condo/association fees
• Monthly debt payments like your credit card bills and student loans
So if your annual household income is $60,000, you should allocate approximately $1,750 for payments.
3. You’re Ready To Stay In One Place For a While
It’s natural to want to move around a lot when you first start living by yourself, but after a while, most people want to put down roots and look for something a little more permanent. There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to stay in your new home for a while.
4. You’ve Saved a Good Chunk of Change
When you move into a new home, the cost of building the home isn’t the only expense you’ll face. As well as the down payment, you’ve already considered extra fees by putting aside 3% of the price of the home to cover them.
5. You Know Your Wants and Needs
When you’re ready to start searching for a new home, it’s important to not only plan for your current needs and wants, but also for potential future ones.
The home you need will have to serve your future needs as well as your current ones.
6. It’s Time For a New Neighbourhood
Buying a new home isn’t just about the house itself – you should also consider the neighbourhood you’ll be living in. Not being close to the amenities you need may not seem too inconvenient at first, but over time those mild annoyances can really add up.
Buying a new home in a new neighbourhood can counteract a lot of inconveniences, as commercial developments love to be close to new and developing communities. If you’re finding the location of your home is starting to cause more and more problems, it’s a sign you might be ready to move.
7. You Have Good Credit
Having a good credit score is the best-case scenario when purchasing a new home, as you’ll be approved for a lower interest rate on your loan. You can also reduce your monthly payments by putting as much down as possible upfront. If your credit needs some work, take care of that before you start shopping. You don’t need to have perfect credit, but there are some things you can do to make sure it’s as good as it can be.
8. You’re Ready to Take Care of the Maintenance
Ready to step up and get your hands a little dirty? Owning a new home has some added responsibility as you’ll essentially become your own landlord. If the toilet clogs and overflows, you’re the one who has to clean it up and get it fixed. Try using a maintenance checklist to help you know what to look for and take care of.
Of course, all new homes in Alberta come with new home warranty, but by keeping a regular maintenance schedule you’ll keep your warranty intact and save money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs that may come from lack of upkeep.
9. You Want Control of Your Own Space
The up-side of all this extra responsibility is that you’ll also have a lot more control over your home. If you don’t like the colour of the wallpaper or the way the carpet looks, rip it out and put in something new!
Now that you know some of the signs to look for, you should be able to make a better decision about whether or not you’re ready to buy your own home.
Of course, you don’t need to satisfy every point to be ready for homeownership but the more prepared you are, the smoother your journey will be. You’ll be relaxing in your own home in no time, secure in the knowledge that you made the right choice!
Originally published Feb 27, 2019, updated Jan 25, 2021