Compared to September of last year, Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, more new pending sales, and rising median prices. Interest rates are low, and many people are thinking about purchasing their first home.

As you think about if it’s the right time for you to buy or not, here is a list of things to consider before buying your first home.

Can you afford it? For most of us, buying a home is the most expensive purchase we will ever make, and we need a large loan to do it. In order to buy your first home, you’ll need good credit, a steady job, and a decent down payment. We also recommend you have 6 months of saved expenses in an emergency fund should anything happen to your current income source.

Do you plan to live there for at least five years? A general rule when buying a home is to ensure you plan to live there for the next five years. Otherwise, it may not be the right financial choice. For the first five years of your mortgage, you are paying primarily interest, not your principle. Coupled with closing costs, if you don’t stay for at least five years, you likely won’t recoup any expenses associated with buying the home and selling in a few years.

Do you have a budget in place? Take some time to plan out your monthly budget. Make sure it includes mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance costs, HOA fees, and all other debt. Additionally, you need to factor in all other living expenses such as your grocery bill, travel, and other discretionary expenses.

Which type of home will best fit your needs? Are you interested in buying a single-family home, duplex, townhome, or condo? Would you like a fixer-upper or a new build? There are several categories of homes, and you’ll need to take a look at your finances and home goals to determine which one is right for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Buying your first home is a new experience, so make sure you feel confident every step of the way, because as unfamiliar as it may be, it should also be exciting and enjoyable.

Contact us today with any questions!