Are you debating whether you should buy a home or seek out an apartment, and you're not sure what to do? It will help to know some key factors to consider so that you can make the right choice.
The first thing to think about is whether you can afford to buy a home at the moment. There is a substantial investment that must be made upfront, which includes the down payment on the home. There are also closing costs on the loan to consider, and long-term upkeep expenses for home ownership.
You really need to sit down and map out all the costs to find out how much home ownership really costs. Even property taxes can catch someone off guard if they do not average the cost across the entire year. If you feel like you can handle these expenses, then home ownership may be in your future.
How committed are you to living in the same place for the foreseeable future? While apartments give you the flexibility to change where you live every single year, that is simply not practical with homeownership. The cost of closing on a new mortgage for the next home can make it difficult to sell your home without spending more out of pocket than you intend to. Stick to an apartment if you can't stay in one place for too long, and buy a home if you're ready to settle down.
There are plenty of things that need to be done to maintain a home over the years, and you need to be prepared to step up and do them yourself. While there are plenty of basic things that need to be done, like cutting the grass regularly, others may not be so obvious. Knowing when to change the HVAC air filter, dealing with pest damage, and replacing old roof shingles can all be time-consuming and costly as well. If you can't do the job on your own, you'll need to pay more for a professional to do it for you.
The nice thing about choosing a fixed-term mortgage is that it offers financial stability. You will know what your monthly payment for your home is until the loan is completely paid off, which gives you some much-needed predictability. While property taxes can increase over time, they will likely not increase in the same way that rent has skyrocketed recently.
Contact a local real estate agent to learn more about buying a home.