Five Signs You Aren't Ready to Buy a Home Just Yet

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Zion Realty

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make in your life. The responsibility of being a homeowner is not to be taken lightly. The maintenance, the mortgage, and the headaches that come with homeownership are very real and very frequent. However, there are so many positives that come out of owning a home. The equity built up over time can serve as a launching point for any number of other investment opportunities once the home is sold. You are free to decorate and style your own home however you see fit, and the pride that comes along with being a homeowner is hard to explain unless you've experienced it. 

As a Real Estate professional it brings me such joy to see new buyers enthusiastic about starting on their path to being homeowners. But I also know there are tell-tale signs when that enthusiasm doesn't match the reality of actually being ready to purchase a home. Just because the idea of homeownership sounds like the right decision to make doesn't mean the stars have aligned to bring those dreams to fruition. It's not only my job to represent buyers in their pursuit of becoming homeowners, but it's also my duty to give an honest analysis of each client's current goals and situation so that they can make an educated and unemotional determination on whether or not they are truly ready to jump in to the housing market. Here are Five signs that show you may not be ready to buy a home:


1. You have not been pre-approved


One of the first steps anyone should take when deciding to purchase a home is making the determination whether you can even qualify for a mortgage. There are many potential buyers that I've come across that don't even know what their current credit score is. Being pre-approved for a mortgage doesn't hinge solely on your credit score, however, if you have not researched and contacted a trusted lender to have them guide you through being pre-approved then searching for homes on-line is certainly putting the cart before the horse and may very well be in vain. 

There are many different lending programs available for buyers with all sorts of contrasting restrictions and options. How much do you need for a down-payment? Do you need a seller to assist you with loan fees? Do you qualify for an FHA, Conventional, VA, or USDA loan? These and many other questions need to be answered by you and your lender to gain an accurate depiction of your ability to purchase a home. If you haven't yet taken this step then you are certainly not ready to buy a home. 


2. Your dollar doesn't match your district


As a buyer you will have a list of items you want in a home and one of those will be a preferred location. If you've taken the necessary steps in being pre-approved for a mortgage you no doubt have a a budget in which you need to adhere. What if your budget does not allow you to purchase a property in your needed location? What if buying a home requires you to move your kids out of their current school district because you can't afford where they are at? Perhaps buying a home within your budget will require you to move far outside of where you work and play.  

In a previous blog post "Is your daily commute really worth a lower mortgage payment" I addressed the added costs of deciding to buy a home outside of the city limits. Although your desire to be a homeowner may be strong it might be wiser for you to wait a little longer, and save up a larger down payment so you can afford to live where it makes the most sense for you and your family. 


3. You are not willing to compromise


So, you've carefully and thoughtfully crafted your list of wants and needs when it comes to the desired floor-plan and upgrades you are looking for in a home. It would be a dream for everyone to get their entire wish list fulfilled when purchasing a home but the reality is there is no perfect home. You will need to make compromises and be flexible when looking at properties to purchase. There will be homes you view that have the amount of bedrooms you need but the kitchen counter space and worn out carpet leave a lot to be desired. Houses that have the entertainers backyard you've always wanted might have fixtures and finishes from the 1980's that will need to be replaced. 

If you absolutely will not bend on any of your wish list items then you are in for a long and frustrating road. You need to have an open mind and a willingness to be flexible, not stubbornly rigid on your home search. You are not ready to start down the path of home buying if you have built a wall and pitched a tent in the land of the stubborn and strong-minded. 


4. Your presence is required


Purchasing a home takes commitment and dedication. We all lead busy lives. Our jobs, children, hobbies, and other obligations pull us in multiple directions each and every day. When you head out on your journey to home ownership you will most likely view many homes in many different areas and neighborhoods. This process takes time. But do you have the time it takes to truly dive in to the home search process?

New homes are listed for sale throughout each day. At any given moment a home could be put on the market that fits your desired location and criteria. You might not be available to run out at a moment's notice to view the property but there are hundreds of other buyers which you are competing against that can. If your busy and hectic schedule does not allow you the freedom to look at available properties within a reasonably short amount of time, you will find the home search process discouraging and frustrating. You will most assuredly miss out on great properties when your lifestyle isn't conducive to home shopping.  


5. Timing is Everything


There is a season for everything in life. Whether you're a young married couple, a single college student, or a busy family of four. Buying a home can be all about timing. Does the opportunity, finances, schedule, and timetable all line up for you to be able to pursue this life goal? If you are trying to purchase a home with extenuating circumstances surrounding you such as job instability, family health issues, or any other complicated life issue that you may be dealing with at the moment, it may not be the best time for you to purchasing a home. 

The pressure to "strike while the iron is hot" can end up burning those who should have taken a step back and let that fire cool down a bit. I know there are no perfect circumstances and life has the ability to shift and change on us at a moment's notice. But if you are in the midst of a trying time or difficult situation perhaps adding the stress of purchasing a home isn't the best decision for you. 


Just because now might not be the best time for you to purchase a home doesn't mean you shouldn't start getting a plan together for when the moment is right. Contact us at and we'll be happy to walk you through each step of the home buying process. 


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Amanda S. Davidson 07/29/2015 11:43 PM
  2. Beth Atalay 07/29/2015 11:54 PM
  3. Anne Lok 07/30/2015 05:13 AM
  4. Ginger Harper 08/01/2015 11:48 AM
Home Buying
Arizona Homes
Almost Anything Goes
Dedicated Bloggers
Addicted to Active Rain
Around The Water Cooler
nicole doty

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

yes to this point and posting...Someone approached me the other day and wanted to know why when they inquired about a place, the agent was abrupt and was asking questions...ANSWER: To see if you were qualified!

Jul 30, 2015 12:01 AM #28
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Joe - It's great if a potential client is thinking of buying a home but is it really right for them just yet? We have to help them sort that out.

James - It happens frequently and it always leads to frustration.

Conrad - I like that!

Wayne - Compromise is just a way of life. When you can't do it then purchasing a home may be a frustrating experience.

Kat - Unfortunately they're the ones with the most unrealistic expectations sometimes. They want it all right out of the gate!

Larry - Just like in business for us, sometimes it's just not lining up but we still put a plan together.



Jul 30, 2015 12:32 AM #29
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Perfect.  Especially for first time home buyers, "PAY ATTENTION TO THE PROCESS" and stay involved in a timely manner.

Jul 30, 2015 12:35 AM #30
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Raymond - Honesty can do that! 

Michael - You shouldn't buy a home that you don't look at. If you're current life situation doesn't allow you to view frequently view properties then the home buying process may not be for you right now.

Amanda - Buyers need to be invested in to the process. Buying a home takes time and effort!

Beth - Everything worthwhile in life takes effort and buying a home is certainly worth it. 

Richie - We are doing buyers and ourselves a disservice if we don't ask the appropriate questions to determine whether they are ready to buy a home. 

Jul 30, 2015 12:36 AM #31
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Very important and true information for those who are considering purchasing a home.  As the old saying goes " look before you leap".

Jul 30, 2015 12:38 AM #32
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

C & D - Pay attention to it and be willing to invest in the process. Most importantly, if it is the right time for you to buy a home, then have fun. Be in a position to enjoy looking for the place you will call home!

Jul 30, 2015 12:38 AM #33
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

John - Being prequalified and propertly vetted will ensure there are no giant rocks below that you may hurt youself on when you take that leap!

Jul 30, 2015 12:39 AM #34
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Like a doctor or lawyer giving advice, if the other end of the signal connection is not going to take it, wish everyone well. You can not help someone with the wrong expectations and are supposed to be the trusted navigator driving, guiding the real estate process.

Jul 30, 2015 01:28 AM #35
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Andrew - Unfortunately some people won't stop getting second and third opinions until someone tells them what they want to hear. This doesn't benefit anyone. 

Jul 30, 2015 01:47 AM #36
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert ~ this is a great post! And I agree "the signs are everywhere, folks just have to stop and read them....

Jul 30, 2015 03:07 AM #37
Gerhard Ade
RSVP Real Estate - Seattle, WA
What sets me apart, will set you apart.

Where I work, reason number six: you are not a cash buyer! I guess you covered that under point 5, Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert 

Jul 30, 2015 04:12 AM #38
Anne Lok
Blue Elephant Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Modern Real Estate

Great post to re-blog. I so often get this from buyers "I don't really need to move right now, but if the right home comes up with everything I want, I will consider it."

Jul 30, 2015 04:50 AM #39
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Jon - Some don't want to read them! They just want to keep on cruising down the road and we need to be the speed bumps that slow them down sometimes. 

Gerhard - We had a few years in 2011-2013 where cash beat out loans at a frustrating rate. Many buyers gave up and kept renting.

Anne - "with everything I want". They will be waiting a very long time for that to happen. 

Jul 30, 2015 08:25 AM #40
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Nicole - I don't know what your secret it, but you are churning out Feature after Feature! This is another excellent post. Sometimes time time ISN'T right. It's good to recognize when to put the home buying process on hold.

Jul 30, 2015 09:41 AM #41
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

Ha Ha so true indeed. We have client much like this right now and its either going to get in line and go away as I have no time for these types of "games" and am at no ones beck and call 24/7

Jul 30, 2015 10:15 AM #42
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert ,

What an excellent featured post! I'm with Michael Jacobs #4 is a hot spot...and so true! Glad to see you included in your 5 signs you might not be ready to purchase a home yet!

Jul 30, 2015 09:17 PM #43
Rob Spinosa
Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA - San Anselmo, CA
Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County

Great post.  Conviction counts in our market, where competition is tight and inventory is still scarce.  Buyers must be solid on all your points above.  If they are not, there are others who will be.

Jul 31, 2015 01:44 AM #44
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Pat - Well I appreciate the compliment but I never fancied myself as a writer until I joined Active Rain last October. I did major in English but I had never put any of those linguistic skills to use I guess until now. I'm by far not near the cream of the crop around here though. There are so many great bloggers in this community. I can only hope to be as good as them one day.

David - I'll walk down the path with them until my gut tells me they aren't ready. Then I'll give them the map and tell them I'll be checking in on them frequently until they are ready.

Dorie - It's so frustrating to see a great property come on the market that you just know fits one of your clients only to have them be too busy to go see it. 

Rob - Absolutely true! When a client isn't "all in" there are hundreds of others who are! 

Jul 31, 2015 02:42 AM #45
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

What a GREAT feature Nicole! I saw Amanda S. Davidson reblogged it so I wanted to be sure to come here to tell you congratulations on this feature. You did an extraordinary job telling it like it is. I can't argue with anything. You speak the truth and you're very respectable too. 

Aug 03, 2015 11:44 PM #46
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Patricia - Thanks so much! We need to be honest with buyers even if that means telling them they aren't ready to buy a home yet. 

Aug 10, 2015 11:15 AM #47
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert

Broker/Owner of Zion Realty
Ask me a question
Spam prevention