While we often refer to homeownership as a core component of the American Dream, we must take a realistic look at the obligations and necessities involved if this is indeed a dream instead of a potential nightmare. Before embarking on this house-hunting process, carefully, introspectively, and objectively examine and consider your reasons, persona, what makes you happy/ satisfied, and whether it’s a good course for you. After determining what’s best for you and knowing what you want, it’s essential to consider and examine what you can afford. This means proceeding, in a responsible, well-planned, and considered manner, focused, on preparing for the many contingencies, of home ownership. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, review, and discuss a few steps which should reduce unnecessary stress and hassle and maximize the potential enjoyment.
1. Reasons for buying that house: Why do you want to buy any specific house? Does it meet your present needs and into the future? Or are you looking at a shorter – term and want to live there for a more straightforward – span and then relocate when needed and necessary? Are you the type of person who enjoys moving, or would you remain in your present quarters instead? Your needs, goals, and priorities regarding location, neighborhood, schools, costs, transportation, and conveniences? Why this house?
2. Down – payment: Do you have the necessary funds to have the down – payment while avoiding placing too much stress, on yourself, because of using these funds? Savvy homeowners prepare and make their journey far less stressful.
3. Needed reserves: The best way to proceed is to assemble several reserve funds to ease your way forward. Once you’ve purchased your house, most people face monthly fixed expenses, including mortgage payments which include principal, taxes, and escrow items, such as insurance and utilities (electric, heat, telephone, television, internet). Realize owning a house requires preparation to afford the costs of regular repairs, including appliances, heating, and water. Create a reserve fund for this specific area. Also, realize houses require attention, and certain items, have useful lives and will need replacing, such as roofs (rated from 20 – 40 years), appliances (including washer, dryer, refrigerator, oven/ stove, dishwasher), painting, or power – washing. At some point, many realize their house needs certain upgrades and renovations. The better prepared, the easier this process.
Are you prepared to be a happy homeowner? Will you have the discipline, organization, and system to ease the process?