The COVID-19 pandemic has us spending more time at home than ever before, and this has led many people to realize that their current abode is no longer working for them. Too small, outdated finishes and lack of work and/or outdoor space are common complaints in the hunker-down-at-home era that we suddenly found ourselves in. But is the desire for a nicer kitchen, dedicated home office, finished basement and/or larger outdoor entertaining area reason enough to buy a new home now? Only you can make that determination.
If you’re less than satisfied with your current living situation but remain on the fence about starting your house hunt, we’re here to help! Following are seven signs that may indicate that you’re ready to make a move to a new home that better meets your present and future needs.
- Interest rates are attractive. Low interest rates can not only help you save on your monthly mortgage payments, they can reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your home loan. In fact, securing an attractive interest rate may even allow you to purchase a more expensive home than you previously believed possible. If you have questions about today’s enticing interest rates, contact a loan officer at our affiliate company, HomeAmerican Mortgage Corporation.
- You’re in a good place financially. If you have steady employment, minimal debt (lenders often look for a 43% debt-to-income ratio), good credit and some cash in the bank, you should be in good shape to start your new home search. Just make sure you have sufficient funds for a down payment, closing costs, moving expenses and standard home maintenance. You may want to keep other spending to a minimum right now (it may not be the best time to purchase that new car you’ve had your eye on!) and set aside some money (a.k.a. an emergency fund) to help cover any unexpected expenses that may arise. Lastly, make sure you’ll still have expendable income for other things that are important to you, such as dining out and entertainment, after purchasing the home.
- You’re tired of writing rent checks. Many long-time renters long to experience the joys of homeownership, like the freedom to design and decorate their living spaces, the potential to build equity in their homes and bidding farewell to their landlords, once and for all. If you feel as though you simply can’t bring yourself to write one more rent check, much less renew your lease, it may be an indication that you’re ready to graduate from renter to homeowner. Need more motivation to take this step? See 5 Reasons Buyers Wish They’d Stopped Renting Sooner.
- You’re over your current neighborhood. Neighbors too nosey or noisy? Has curb appeal fallen off their radars (as can happen in older communities)? A brand-new home in a brand-new neighborhood might be just the solution you’re seeking. Tip: To avoid moving from one unappealing community to another, scout out potential neighborhoods at different times of day and night to determine activity and noise levels. Also, chat with current residents, if possible, to find out what they like most (or least) about living there. You might even make some new friends in the process!
- You can no longer handle your commute. Is your home too far from the job you love? When the commute you once thought of as ‘kind of long but totally tolerable’ suddenly seems unbearable, it’s a sign that you may be ready for a new residence. Just think of all the extra mileage you’ll avoid and the minutes—possibly hours—you’ll be able to add back to your day if you move closer to the office. Bonus: If you find a new home that’s within walking or biking distance of your workplace, you might even be able to get some added exercise!
- You want to settle down, for real. If you’re longing for a sense of permanence and think it may be time to plant some roots, it might make sense to start house hunting. Buying a home can be a long-term emotional and financial investment—there’s a reason why most mortgages have a duration of 15 or 30 years! While you don’t necessarily have to commit to that length of time, you might want to wait a while before buying a new home if you haven’t narrowed down your desired location or think your career may take you to a new city, state or country in the not-so-distant future.
- Your household is changing. Are you thinking about starting a family? Is your son or daughter leaving the nest to attend college? Perhaps you have decided to invite your aging mother-in-law to come live with you. Or maybe now is the right time to finally adopt that rescue dog you’ve been dreaming about. If your lifestyle is shifting and your current home simply can’t accommodate your changing needs, you might want to consult a real estate agent and/or begin to explore new home communities in your area.
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Have you decided that a new home is in your near future? Congratulations on this exciting step! Here are some additional resources to help with your house hunt:
- What to Expect When Building a New Home
- 11 Must-ask Questions for Your New Home Builder
- 7 Podcasts for New & Aspiring Homebuyers
- Things to Bring for a Smooth Model Home Tour
- RV Garage Types for Your Next Home
We offer a variety of inspired ranch, two-story and three-story homes, including some popular home collections in select locations. In many areas we even offer quick move-in options that can close in a faster timeframe so you can start enjoying your new abode within months!* Call 888.799.8322 or visit RichmondAmerican.com to explore our inspired floor plans and communities near you.