You’ve been thinking about it for a little while, but you’re not quite sure. Are you really ready to buy a condo? In fact, you may be. Here are eight signs that now’s the time!
1. Money Saved. Buying property requires a large down payment, usually twenty percent. If you’ve been squirreling away money (for whatever reason) you may be in business.
2. A Steady Job. In order to get approved for a mortgage, you need to demonstrate consistent, reliable income. The best way to do this is by holding a steady, salaried job. So, if you are mid-career, it’s a good sign.
3. Staying for a While. Because of the transactions costs associated with purchasing and selling a home, it usually doesn’t make sense to buy unless you’re planning on staying at least five years. But if you’re mid-career and enjoy the city you’re in, you may be confident you’ll be staying.
4. Ready for An Upgrade. It’s quite possible to find a very nice rental unit. That said, for the same monthly cost you’ll almost always get more for your dollar when you own: look forward to larger spaces, nicer fixtures and better appliances. (Note: you will need to tie up significant cash for the down payment.)
5. Good Credit. You have to have at least decent credit to get favorable terms on a mortgage. And, good credit is also a sign that you know how to manage your money – a necessity if you’re to buy property.
6. Interested in Redoing Your Space. With a condo, you can totally redo the kitchen, paint the walls whatever color you like and put in new tiles in the bathroom. If you feel like channeling your inner Bob Vila, owning is the way to go.
7. In a Solid Relationship. If you’re married or engaged, it may be time to own. It’s more than a cliché – with two incomes and the security of knowing you’ll have a permanent roommate, you can get a lot more condo for the same (per-person) price. Plus, you spread your risk – should one of you lose your job, you’ll still have one income stream.
8. Tired of the Rental Cycle. Even if you’re blissfully single, it may be time to own. If you’re tired of roommates, lazy landlords, raises in rent and the insecurity of knowing that someone else is in charge of your place – it might be time to strike out on your own.
If you passed this test, but still feel insecure, get pre-approved for a mortgage and talk with a realtor. You’ll be under no obligation, but by talking with someone in the business, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. Have the realtor show you some suitable units. If what you see excites you, then it may be time to take the plunge!