There's no magical age or life stage at which you'll know for sure exactly when to buy a house. There are, however, a few factors you'll want to take into account.
Finances. How's your credit score? Can you afford to take on a monthly mortgage payment? Do you have enough cash to pay for a down payment and closing costs? Sit down with a mortgage lender who can help you evaluate your finances.
You'll also need to budget for home maintenance expenses. One rule of thumb says homeowners should set aside 1% to 3% of their home's purchase price a year for home maintenance and repairs. So, if your home cost $400,000, you'd set aside at least $4,000 annually. (Doing preventative maintenance, however, can go a long way toward staving off expensive repairs.)
Stability. If you’re on solid ground financially, with a stable job to support you, buying a home can be a way to lower your monthly housing costs (real talk: Owning is often cheaper than renting in some cities), gain a valuable financial asset, and, if you itemize, reap some tax benefits.
If you're ready to commit to a home and city (and your job) for a few years, you're probably in a stable enough situation to be a homeowner.
Lifestyle: Owning a house allows you to develop a strong relationship with a local community. Buying a home should align with your life goals. If you're starting a family soon, planting your roots in a kid-friendly neighborhood with a great school district is usually a good reason to buy a house.
There's also something to be said about the pride of owning a home and having a place you can call yours — one that you can customize to your heart's desire.
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