Okay, so you’re in your late 20’s/early 30’s, you have a stable job, you’ve settled down with a partner…what’s next? For a lot of people, the natural next move is to buy a home, a place of your own, and say goodbye to renting forever. But is this the best move for you? Let’s find out.
A lot of things go into buying a home, more than just recent life events. You have to think about your financial situation right now and in the years to come, as well as what you’re overall plan is for the future. There are three main things to think about when deciding whether to rent or buy.
- How much money you have now for a down payment.
- What monthly payment you are comfortable with.
- How many years you plan on sticking around.
We took each of these factors and created a quick and easy Rent vs Buy Calculator, so you can get an initial idea of what the best decision for you is.
Now why are these three factors so important? Let’s go over them.
1. How much money do you have to put down on a home?
“The down payment is money you give to the home’s seller. The rest of the payment to the seller comes from your mortgage. Down payments are expressed as percentages. A down payment of at least 20% lets you avoid mortgage insurance.” – Bankrate
Required down payments can vary based on your personal credit history, among other factors, but they generally won’t be lower than 3%. If you put more than 20% down, you won’t have to buy mortgage insurance, since it is clear you are able to afford the monthly payments.
It is extremely important to have money saved up for your down payment. And remember, the more you are able to put down now, the less you’ll owe later.
2. What monthly payment are you comfortable with?
Your monthly mortgage payment will be paid to your mortgage lender and will include the principal payment, as well as interest. These payments can vary depending on how much you put down initially, how long your mortgage term is, and how much the interest rate is.
Often times your monthly mortgage payment ends up being lower than your rent ever was, depending on how nice of a place you previously lived in / are moving into.
Be sure that you are confident that you can pay your mortgage payment each month. If you miss multiple payments, you are at risk of a serious hit to your credit score, as well as the eventual risk of foreclosure.
3. How many years do you plan on staying?
People who stick with renting generally do so because they have the freedom of moving around each year. However, if you’re ready to settle down and don’t see yourself moving to a new area in the next five years, you’ll see more benefits in buying. This is an expensive and time consuming process – you don’t want to do it back to back to back.
Do you think you’re ready to buy a home? Check your finances with our calculator.