How to Decide if You Should Buy a House Now or Wait

Real Estate Agent with NextHome Advisors SL 3041104

In deciding if now is the right time to buy a home you have many areas to consider.       


Owning your home is much different than renting.  Are you committed to taking on the expenses of home repairs and maintenance? Do you want to mow your own grass, clean that pool?  Many people enjoy household chores while others prefer a maintenance free lifestyle.


How long do you intend to remain in the home? If you are required to relocate for your job buying a home may not be right for you.  Unless you are planning on being in the home 3 to 5 years financial planners do not recommend buying.  An exception to this time frame would be if you were to find a fantastic bargain.

Are you financially responsible?  Are you over loaded with debt or have you been living within your means and saving for a down payment? Have you checked out the neighborhoods you are interested in.  Do the schools offer programs suitable for your children? Whether you have children or not when you are ready to sell this could be a selling point. 


Are you realistic on what you can afford or do you think you will get the bargain of a lifetime because you have heard how sellers and banks are giving houses away? I’m here to tell you those days are long gone.  


Can you afford all the additional costs involved with home ownership? Not only do you have your monthly mortgage to your lender there’s insurance, taxes, utilities, possibly HOA fees, repair contingencies.  You should have at least six months of payments in the bank to cover expenses if something should happen.


So you have decided you are ready to buy.  Let’s talk about what you need to do next.  


First get Pre-Approved.  Know what you qualify for and how much you will need for a down payment, closing costs, etc.  Make sure you are comfortable with the payment amount.  Just because the lender says you can afford X amount doesn’t mean you have to buy that amount.  You don’t want to be house poor after closing.


Make a list of must have’s and what you would like in your new home. Consider buying a home without all the bells and whistles this allows you to make it your own and may save you money. 

Now is the time to start looking at homes.  Remember NO home is going to be 100% perfect and meet all your expectations. This is not HGTV. 


You found that perfect home, have your agent show you comparables, make an offer based on similar sales.  Don’t expect to steal the home. 


After you have your accepted contract, get a HOME INSPECTION.  Just because everything looks good doesn’t mean all is well.   This will cost you around $400 to $500 but could save you making a huge mistake in the end. 


Get with your lender and finish your loan process.  Make sure to stay in touch and get them everything they ask for.  


Don’t open new credit card’s, buy a new car, boat, etc.  Doing so could change your ratio’s and cause you to no longer qualify for your mortgage.  Wait until you close on your home.


Your loan is now approved you will want to do a final walk through prior to closing.  Make sure the home is in the same condition and everything that is suppose to be included is still with the house.


Congratulations, your home buying is complete.  Remember your home is now your responsibility and to protect your investment keep up on maintenance.  It’s usually more affordable to do routine tasks then to replace major items.


 To follow what is happening in your area your can visit for monthly Market Reports.


For your free copy of my ebook 9Mistakes Home Buyers Make and how to Avoid them simply go to


Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hi Edie,

Excellent advice to help potential buyers make the decision to move forward with home buying.

Best of GREAT success to you in 2014!

Feb 09, 2014 06:20 AM
Edie Czerniak
NextHome Advisors - Cape Coral, FL
My Only Purpose is to Deliver Successful Results


Thanks, trying to get the hang of this blogging stuff. Great success to you also in 2014.  May it be the best year we have all had.

Feb 09, 2014 06:30 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Edie - Love your advice - especially the part about buying what you know you can comfortably afford - not what the bank says you can afford. Those lenders don't know about the other things you might like to spend money on.

Feb 09, 2014 07:24 AM
Edie Czerniak
NextHome Advisors - Cape Coral, FL
My Only Purpose is to Deliver Successful Results

Thanks Marte.  And I love your letter sets.  Use them often.

Feb 09, 2014 10:13 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Well, depends on your budget. Down payment, credit and affordability – these are the three biggest obstacles to achieving the American dream in CA these days. 

Oct 15, 2018 11:25 PM