Purchasing a home is the American dream but it can cost you significantly if you aren’t fully prepared. Here are six signs that you should wait and not purchase a home in Jacksonville right now.
Your Budget is Tight
While you may have enough money each month to afford a mortgage, you should have a little set aside for unexpected costs and emergencies. As a homeowner, there will be many repair and maintenance costs that arise. You need enough wiggle room in your budget to cover all your necessities and many of these expenses.
Your Credit Score is Low
Poor credit scores may mean you can’t qualify for a home loan. However, if you do qualify, you may have high-interest rates and monthly payments. You want to raise your credit score before purchasing your first home in Jacksonville. The minimum credit score to qualify for a loan is 580. However, scores 620 or higher are ideal.
You are Currently Paying Off Debt
For most lenders, you won’t qualify for a mortgage if your debt-to-income ratio is greater than 36%. However, if you still qualify, you want to look carefully at the debt you do have. Do you have high-interest rates that will hurt you long term? Are you disciplined enough to pay off that debt? You may want to work through some of your debt before your budget becomes too tight due to a mortgage and homeowner costs.
You Can’t Control Your Spending
When you first own a home, you will spend a significant amount of money not only on closing costs and a down payment but projects, furniture, household appliances, etc. You want to ensure that you can control your spending habits as you don’t want to max out your credit card right away. Additionally, purchasing a home is a large investment and you accrue a significant amount of debt. It is wise to monitor your spending habits so you can properly take care of your home and family responsibilities.
You Are Not Settled
While you may love living in Jacksonville, it may not be your long-term home. You may see yourself moving to a new city or state in a few years. Or, you may be unfamiliar with the city and unsure of what neighborhood and location would be ideal for your family. You should have a plan for where you want to live for at least five years or longer before making any long-term decisions like purchasing home.
You Don’t Know Your Options and Are Unfamiliar with the Home-Buying Process
There are many programs and options for buying a home such as FHA loans, conventional loans, grants, etc. Familiarize yourself with these options before you talk to a lender to ensure you make the right decision for your specific needs. Additionally, acquaint yourself with the home-buying process. You will want to speak with a lender and receive pre-approval before you start searching for a home so you know exactly how much you are approved for and what type of home you can afford.
While purchasing a home is an exciting time, if you aren’t properly prepared, it can have significant consequences.