Do you dream of a future with a yard and a white picket fence? One where you’re not writing away 30 percent of your salary to your landlord every month? Being able to buy a home is a big part of what we’re sold as “The American Dream,” but it’s not for everyone.
This isn’t a checklist, and these things certainly aren’t requirements for your first foray into real estate. But if you can say “yes” to more than a few items on the list, it’s a good indicator that buying might be a solid next step for you.
The minimum for an FHA loan is 3.5 percent of the purchase price. More than 5 percent will get you into a fixed-rate conventional loan (where you pay private mortgage insurance monthly). And if you can manage 20 percent, you’re in the very best shape to avoid fees altogether.
Here are some ways to know.
The New York Times has a great tool on weighing your buying vs. renting options.
Selling a home is sometimes just as costly as buying one.
Don’t feel like you have to buy a home for some hypothetical future time when you get married and have 2.5 kids.