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Can I afford to buy a house?

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Millions of people wonder whether it is time for them to buy a house or not. In order to make an educated decision, I recommend that you do a basic “affordability and needs analysis” among other things. Contrary to popular believe, home ownership is not good for everyone and it is better you to know that in advance before you find yourself “in a pickle”.

In today’s article I will cover the topic related to affordability, I will talk about the “need analysis” in a later posting.

So, the question is, can I afford it?

Affordability is not only a financial matter, I tell my clients that affordability is more like a mathematical equation that is composed of three parts, money, time, and peace of mind.

Money -There are many expenses related to buying and keeping a property. Initially and depending on the circumstances, you might need to pay inspection expenses, down payment, and closing costs. Later, mortgage, taxes, insurance, and of course, maintenance of the property.

Accountants and financial advisors in conjunction with lenders are good sources to determine whether you can afford the purchase of a property or not. If you are not, you might want to re-evaluate your options.

Also, talking about money, a good question we need to ask ourselves, especially in the current times is, if I do not buy the property now, will I be able to afford it later? Of course, we do not have a crystal ball to know if properties are going to temporarily increase, decrease, or remain the same in price… but we can always see how home prices have performed in the history of the United States, it would be safe to say that overall home prices continue to go up throughout the years…

Time - There is a fair amount of time you would have to invest to find and maintain your property, even if you hire professionals to do the work for you. If your schedule and obligations are such that it is impossible for you to find the time to look for your dream home, mow the yard, pay bills, or wait for the plumber to fix a leaking toilet, home ownership might not be for you, at least not for now.

Peace of mind - This is probably one of the most important but ignored components in the “affordability equation”. If buying a property brings you peace of mind, it is probably a good option to buy, on the other hand, if it robs your sleeping time, gives you gray hair, and stresses you out, I strongly suggest you to make other living arrangements.

Bottom line, if buying or keeping a house produces a heavy, unbearable burden for you and therefore “you can’t afford to buy the property” it would be a good idea to wait until the conditions change so you can enjoy the benefits of owning a house.

Enrique Hurtado is an experienced Commercial and Residential Real Estate Agent with Reliant Realty ERA Powered, he is also a Professional Stager, and home flipper. Contact him at (615) 720 -7803 should you have questions about buying a property.

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