Shifting From Affordable Rentals to Attainable Housing | Lane Lowry
Many people who rent a house or apartment eventually reach a point in their lives when they consider being a homeowner. Contrary to popular belief, much more due diligence is needed than calculating how big a slice of your monthly paycheck should go towards housing. There is a checklist of determining factors that must be considered before making a giant leap into homeownership.
The first concept to familiarize yourself with is affordability, which is the degree to which something is affordable in relation to how much you can pay. These two constructs go hand in hand, they are not mutually exclusive. To do this, you will need to become well-versed in your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Once you add up all of your monthly debt payments and divide them by your gross monthly income, you will have your DTI. Your front-end DTI is specifically noteworthy since it refers to how much you will need for housing costs such as mortgage payments and insurance. Borrowers who have a higher debt-to-income ratio are more likely to have trouble making mortgage payments, so you need to be confident that you can afford to pay a bank loan before wasting time and money shopping around for one.
Other questions to ask yourself include how long you plan on living in that home’s location and whether it’s an appropriate long-term investment. If you have a steady job and a lifestyle that will keep you local for the foreseeable future, then committing to a home is more realistic. If you are thinking about a potential family down the road, you need to account for that when shopping for a home. It’s essential to make a wish list of must-haves and wants so you can be flexible without feeling like you’re settling. Few decisions in life are more significant than buying a home, so it’s essential to do the research, be honest with yourself, and give it enough time, even if it means waiting until the right house comes along.
In addition to location and goals, timing is crucial when dealing with the real estate market. In a seller’s market, the seller will be advantageous because of limited supply, plus high demand equalling high prices on homes. Likewise, in a buyer’s market, there is an abundance of supply but minimal demand. This puts the buyer at an advantage because they can offer a negotiable figure.