There’s a lot of advice out there about when to buy a house. Some say you should wait until you’re completely debt-free because having more money to pay down a mortgage will make you a better buyer.
Others say it’s best to buy as soon as possible because interest rates are historically low, and you’ll be able to make your payments lower.
But the truth is, the best time to buy a house is the time that makes sense for you. You can’t just decide one day that this is your “money time,” or your “time to save up” or whatever, and then make it happen.
For instance, if you’re trying to save up for a house and have kids in college and want to move every few years because they each earn more money than you do, then maybe waiting until after they graduate isn’t the ideal time for buying.
While there are many factors involved in determining when it makes sense for you to buy a house (and when it doesn’t), here are some of the most important:
How much cash have you saved up? What’s the average amount of credit card debt at this point in your life? What kind of retirement savings plan do you have?
If you have any outstanding debts or mortgages, including student loans, wait until all these things have been paid off before buying a home.
Many banks have viable VA home loan requirements for someone with good credit, so those who have debt will either need to pay it off or get help from family before qualifying for a mortgage loan.
This can be tricky because your family members may not have the same financial resources as you, and they may not know how to manage money properly.
If you don’t have any outstanding debts or want to start your investing education while avoiding student loans, waiting might not be your best option. This is why it’s important to research what type of mortgage is best for your situation.
The interest rate you will pay on a mortgage depends on the bond’s interest rate or note that guarantees the loan.
The lower the interest rate, the more likely you will pay less interest over time. Buying at a low-interest rate provides a fixed amount of cash flow.
That amount should be enough to cover any monthly payments and not leave you short for other expenses like daycare or groceries.
Several factors can affect prices: The economy. Economic growth and employment can affect real estate prices.
For example, if there’s an upturn in the economy, prices go up; home sales tend to drop as the economy sours housing inventory. When housing sales go down because there aren’t enough homes available, prices also go down.
This may sound counterintuitive because prices are rising, but if you’re after the right property for your budget and lifestyle, the fact that prices are increasing isn’t all that important.
The best time to find the right home is while they’re still down there in price and likely within your budget because then you can make an informed decision about whether you want it or not.
For most Americans, the ideal age to buy a house is between 35 and 45. That’s when unemployment is low, and you’ve likely built up some savings, so you have an emergency fund for closing costs.
The older you are, the more likely you will become a first-time homeowner, which can pose its own set of problems. This is because you’ll need to navigate the process without much experience.
Buying close to where you work will save you time and money on commuting costs. However, finding a good neighborhood isn’t easy–especially if you’re not familiar with your city’s neighborhoods.
Buying in colder months is usually the most expensive time of year because the demand for houses tends to be lower in winter than in summer. This means that homes tend to be priced higher in winter than in summer.
The cheaper part of the season is mid-to-late summer when people don’t need as much space for vacations.
As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when buying a new house, meaning that there is no specific time.
No two financial situations or household situations will be exactly alike. Still, with the above knowledge and helpful charts at your disposal, you should confidently know how to find the right home to buy promptly.