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“Am I ready to buy a home?”

This question tends to cross the mind of many, so we’re here to help you find an answer! With more millennials buying homes, it might very well be their first time going through this process.

We’ve all gone through the common, panicky questions: How can I afford this? Do I need to put 20% down? What about my student loans? Do I have to live in this house forever?

Pause. Take a deep breath. It is all possible, regardless of your age and the many, common misconceptions that you’ve heard about buying a home.

Here are a few things to review before settling on your decision.

“Okay, what’s the deal with the down payment?”

Many people think that you absolutely need to put at least 20% down in order to buy a home. False.

If you don’t have the funds to put 20% down right now, there are actually many companies that have programs to help first-time buyers with a down payment.

If you’re interested in going this route, ask your loan officer what possibilities are in store for you.

Next, before you apply for a loan, make sure you do your research on all the different types of loans. It may surprise you how many there are.

For example, depending on where your new home is located, you could potentially qualify for something like a USDA loan, which requires no down payment at all!

Tip: If you don’t have much credit history, don’t go making any other big investments at this time. This could actually disqualify you for a home loan if you decide to buy your dream car at the same time.

“Can you buy a home with student loan debt?”

The answer is yes! Though it seems to be financially overwhelming, buying a home with student loans is possible and there are many resources that can help you.

Take a step back and don’t get caught up in the full home price. Yes, this is a lot of money, but once you break it down into your monthly payments, it could potentially be less or super close to what you’re currently paying in rent.

In addition, you’re putting this money towards your mortgage, as opposed to paying rent, when your landlord is the only one making a profit off your monthly payments.

Tip: Being strict with yourself about budgeting and saving will make your financial situation way less stressful. Setting up a second checking account, just for home payments and home purchases, can help you stay organized and hold yourself accountable.

“Do I need to live in this house forever?”

No, you don’t need to stay in this house for the rest of your life, but you do need to take care of it and maintain your home so that it holds its value.

Try to own your home for at least 5 years before you sell it to avoid getting charged in taxes.

Tip: Plan ahead and review your timeline. Especially before you make the move, make sure your current living situation lines up with the move-in date of your new home. If you’re renting, you may want to ask your landlord if you can switch to a month-to-month lease.

“How much of a commitment is it to own a home?”

If you’re serious about buying a home, you’ll need to prepare yourself to take the necessary steps to maintain it to avoid costly repairs.

Now that you don’t have a landlord, you can no longer call up maintenance to make those inconvenient repairs, way more convenient. Having your own yard might also be new for you. So you’ll need to tend to that yourself as well.

Lastly, you may want to ask yourself: am I really ready to sacrifice going out on the town with my friends to take care of my home or do chores around the house on some weekends instead?

Tip: Make a pros and cons list. If the cons outweigh the pros, then it might be best to wait until your list evens out a little.

Buying a home is not something people do every day, so it's okay to have questions regardless of your age. We’re all going to have questions, and it’s totally OK if you’re not ready to pull the trigger yet. But staying true to yourself and taking the time to really figure out if you’re ready to buy a home or not is what’s most important.



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Christa Colavincenzo

Author

As a Web Content Coordinator at M/I Homes, Christa’s role is to manage all content that is placed on the M/I Homes website as well as establish creative and new ways to digitally market our products. When she’s not thinking of ways to make our website content better, Christa enjoys traveling to new cities that she’s never been to before, spending time with her friends, and cuddling her two kittens.