Can I Buy a House? House Hunting Considerations

(Here's what you should know first)

House for Sale sign in front of yellow house.

Should you buy a house? Should we buy a house? Can I buy a house? Do you have home insurance? There's no getting around the fact that buying a home is an exciting but daunting process. Whether you are getting ready to buy your first home or you are trying to decide whether you should even buy a home, or you need to find a new home because you are starting a family, there are many questions you will probably want to have answered, including, "Can I buy a house?" Here are some common house buying scenarios along with related questions for you to consider.

Buying When You Are Single

If you are single, you're probably asking yourself, "Can I buy a house?" In short, if you can afford it and don't mind living in a house by yourself, it's usually a good idea to buy rather than rent. Real estate expert Michael Corbett has several tips for solo home buyers. Aside from the obvious first step of deciding whether a home is within your reach based on your budget and other home-related expenses, Corbett suggests that there are many other points to consider as well.

For example, he suggests considering the maintenance work that goes into a home. From mowing the grass to raking leaves and performing house repairs, home maintenance is an added cost for any home owner, regardless of the size of the house. If you are single, you should be prepared to take on most, if not all, of the maintenance yourself.

In addition, many first-time home buyers often come from apartment buildings or condos. These units are generally quite safe, maybe even to the point where you could walk out the door, lock up and get on with your day without thoughts of crimes occurring while you are away.

If you are a new home owner, it is a good idea to search for a home in a safe neighborhood. If that is just not possible, try to get the most and best security features your budget can afford.

Keep in mind that, although you are single now, you may have a partner and perhaps start a family in a few years. When you are considering a home, think ahead a few years. It may be a good idea to get a home with a spare bedroom and plenty of living space for more than one person, as long as you can afford it.

Deciding To Buy If You Are Married

Should you buy a house? For newlyweds in particular, one of the most pressing questions is, "Should we buy a house?" With secure credit scores, manageable debt and the desire to move out of the small apartment they currently share, many couples are in a prime position to buy a house. However, purchasing a home is a big step that you need to consider before you make the final decision on whether to buy or rent.

One big part of owning a home is the mortgage fees that come with it. Couples will be glad to know that it may be possible to get a better mortgage rate on a home if they are married. According to mortgagecalculator, your mortgage rate will reflect both your credit history and that of your spouse. 

For example, if you have a good credit score but your spouse does not, you can expect the mortgage rates to be about average. However, if you are the one with a less than stellar score but your spouse's score is pretty good, you can probably expect a better-than-average mortgage rate.

Aside from factoring in your mortgage fees, there are other important criteria to consider as well. Even though you are living with someone else, you should strive for a neighborhood that is safe and affordable. Keep in mind the distance that both of you will be from your workplace and whether you could handle longer commute times if it means settling on your dream house. If you have pets, think about whether you have enough outdoor space and whether the area is pet-friendly.

Whether or not you share the same bank account, it's a good idea to live in a place that is affordable for both of you. This involves the cost of home maintenance, which can add up over the years. Newer homes may cost a bit more in the beginning, but you will probably save on the repair costs that an older house can require. 

Along with home maintenance costs, consider whether you can afford to live in your desired neighborhood. If groceries, gas, stores and restaurants are expensive, you need to determine whether you can truly afford the house you are interested in.

Buying a House for the Family

Kids are already an added expense, but the additional space and even cost savings along the way may leave you and your partner wondering, "Should we buy a house?" Of course, a home is a big investment, but it can be a very valuable one as long as you stay within your means and carefully consider the benefits of buying a home versus renting one. There is a lot to consider when you are deciding whether your family would benefit from buying a house.

Your children may not be old enough for school yet, but that shouldn't dissuade you from following a very important piece of advice. It is a good idea to buy a home in a good school district. Not only will your children benefit from having access to a better education, but also, homes in good school districts tend to be more valuable. This is particularly useful if you decide to sell your home down the road.

Home insurance is another consideration. The rates may influence your decision whether to buy a certain home or any home at all. To get started, it's a good idea to speak with an independent agent, who will help you find home insurance quotes.

If you are wondering, "Can I buy a house?" or "Should we buy a house?" it's important to know that you're not alone. Buying a home is a tough decision, and you should weigh the pros and cons. Home ownership may not be good for those who are on the move a lot, have poor credit scores or don't want to take on the responsibility of home ownership. However, a home can provide more space and freedom and can even be a worthwhile investment in a few years.

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