Most real estate agents will talk about how to know when you are ready to buy a house, not wanting science to know when you're not, that if you're buying and you're not ready, it could lead to frustration down the line or even foreclosure or short sale. It's best to be ready from the beginning before jumping into a house you're not ready for.
Here are five warning signs you may not be ready to buy a house.
#1. You just have too much debt.
I know, you are probably paying a rental payment at the moment but if you're not, adding a mortgage payment on to your monthly expenses may be more than you are ready to handle. Remember, if you have too much debt, you are not going to be able to get the loan that you want and the interest rate that works for you. Lenders look at how much debt you have versus how much income you have coming in. If they don't match up or you have too much debt to support your income, a lender just won't give you the loan, and that's probably a good thing. The last thing you want is more debt than you can handle.
#2. You just don't make enough money.
We are seeing this a lot in the Los Angeles area because prices are so inflated that it can be difficult for a lot of people to afford a home loan. However, there are studio apartments, smaller condominiums, and lofts starting at less than $300,000, which gives you a mortgage payment about $2000 a month. This, in addition to homeowner condo association fees, may be affordable for a lot of people, but if you're not ready to take on that much money going out each month for your housing costs, it just might not be in the cards right now.
#3. You haven't had your job long enough.
If you just started at a brand-new industry or a job, lenders see you as high risk. Yes, they can look back to previous careers and see that you have stayed in a job for 2 to 4 years or even longer, but if you completely changed industries or jobs, you may need a few miles under your belt before lenders will give you money.
#4. You have less than perfect credit.
Don't we all? Not everyone has perfect credit and we will always have things in our credit history that could use some explaining, but if your credit score is less than 400, it's time to spend at least 6 to 8 months building that up at the bare minimum. If you have a credit score of 680 or higher, you have a better chance of getting a home loan with FHA, the or even a conventional with a lower interest rate.
#5. You don't want to be tied down for too long.
If you think buying a house is great, it is! You can save money, build equity, and have a place of your route. However, if you only plan on living there for a year or two, it's not long enough for you to build enough equity so that you don't lose money when it comes time to selling. If you to move around a lot and you like to rent and see other places, buying a home may not be ideal for you right now. This is not to say that in the future it would be a good idea, but for right now, renting might be your best bet.
If you've look over all of these red flags and you still think you are ready to buy give us a call. We love to help you find the home that you want, get you in touch with a Los Angeles lender, get you preapproved and into the home of your dreams.