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When is the Right Time to Buy a Home?

Five reasons why it might be time to start home shopping

Feeling the itch to move lately? Whether you’ve outgrown your current space, or simply want a change of scenery, here are 5 reasons why it might be time to start looking into purchasing a larger home.

  1. Your finances are ideal for an upgrade. When it comes to buying a home, your financial standing will ultimately dictate what you can comfortably afford. A lot of people who are looking to size up, may find the urge arising because they’re in better financial standing than ever before. Perhaps you’ve recently acquired a generous raise, or landed a new, higher paying position. A good first step is to create an inventory of your finances, and decipher where exactly you stand. More income can translate into more housing opportunities, although, with a more expensive home comes more expensive payments, and a potential for new unforeseen costs. Buying a bigger home makes the most sense when your income is stable, and you suspect it will remain so. Jumping the gun too quickly can have potentially devastating side effects. While you’ll never regret erring on the side of caution, you may come to regret being careless. With this in mind, be diligent with your finances.


  1. Your family has grown, and you’re ready to expand. The needs of a first-time homebuyer are often different than those of a growing family. One bathroom was probably ideal back when it was just you and your significant other, but after a couple of kids that extra space can start to look really appealing. You may find your family has simply outgrown the confines of your starter home. Perhaps you want a bigger backyard, or would like to add on a few new bedrooms. Whatever the case may be, if you’re starting to feel the strain of growing pains, it’s probably a good time to look into purchasing some additional leg room. If you’re not sure exactly what your family’s needs will be, you can start by mapping out your collective, future goals. Do you want more kids? What about space for pets? As your kids get older, what do you foresee your children’s needs as being? Don’t be afraid to do some brainstorming.


  1. You’ve outgrown your neighborhood and desire different things. Neighborhoods, much like families, can change over time. Families who outgrow their homes, also have a tendency to outgrow their neighborhoods. Better schools, or shorter commute times, are incentives to check out new areas. Safety also has a tendency to become a priority when families expand. Neighborhoods are constantly evolving, and realistically, you may not feel as comfortable in your community as you once did in years prior. On the contrary, a neighborhood that wasn’t desirable 10 years ago, may be up and coming and offer good potential for a profitable investment. Reputable realtors are able to predict the trends of neighborhoods, and help you decide where your dollar will go the furthest.


  1. Market conditions indicate a favorable time to move. The real estate market can be quite volatile, and will vary significantly depending on where you live. Like most any investment-based game, markets will ebb and flow accordingly. Essentially, certain times will prove more desirable than others when it comes time to play ball. Incidentally, if your market is experiencing a “slump” your realtor may recommend buying property. It may seem counterintuitive, but slumps aren’t inherently bad times to consider purchasing. In fact, during a “slump”, home prices experience a decline, and you may find your overall expected payments to be lower. This allows for the buyer’s dollar to potentially go further. For example, you may find sellers more eager to take lowball offers because the market isn’t currently saturated with eager buyers. However, it’s best to still consult your realtor before buying in a specific market, and get the full details to ensure your investment will likely yield returns down the line. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing the same problems down the line.


  1. Above all else, don’t make the move unless you’re ready. There are a lot of reasons people may feel inclined to buy a house before they’re ready, be it social pressures, or the feeling that you “must” be in a state of seeking constant upgrade. Buyers can easily fall victim to moving prematurely if they’re not careful. If you’re content with your current standing, there’s no need to move forward just because the timing is ideal. What’s more important is figuring out what the best decision is for you personally. This may mean you want a few more years to save up money, or potentially see how the neighborhoods in your area evolve before you go looking for new property. If you’re not ready to move, take your time and be practical. Just because the market is good now, doesn’t mean it won’t be good again later. Time is a resource you can never get back; therefore, the best course of action will always entail moving at a pace that makes sense for you.