Whether it’s your first home (yey – congrats!) or you’re upgrading, downsizing or simply fancy a change I have two ABSOLUTELY crucial questions you need to ask yourself before you sign on that line.
- Are you happy with your job?
- Are you happy with your relationship?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, I want you to stop and give some serious thought to what it would take for the answer to both of those questions to be yes.
- Would it take getting a promotion?
- Moving to a different department in your current company?
- Getting a new job entirely?
- Would that possibly require moving to a different location?
- A different city or state?
- What about leaving your job and going out on your own?
- Have you always dreamed of freelancing or being a small business owner?
And what about your relationship? If you aren’t happy in your current relationship the way it is, what would it take for you to be happy?
- Are you working so much right now that you don’t get to spend enough time with your significant other?
- Or the other way around?
- Would you need for them to change in a significant or fundamental way?
- Do you need them to work less, be more attentive, drink less, be more affectionate?
- Do you need a commitment from them that they aren’t willing to make?
- Do they treat you the way you want to be treated?
- And value you and what you bring to the relationship?
- What is the future of this relationship?
Why Are These Two Questions SO Important?
Why do I think it is important to think about these two things before deciding to buy a home?
Because as awesome as homeownership can be, it locks you into a location and a lifestyle in a way that few other things do. If you aren’t happy with your job, take the steps you need to in order to be happy with your job BEFORE you buy the house.
And the same goes with your relationship. Don’t buy a house with someone, or pay for the house that both of you will live in, unless you are really happy with that relationship and see it moving forwards towards the future you want.
The last thing I want to see for any woman is feeling like they are financially trapped in a bad relationship.
That down payment money in your bank account can also be your freedom fund if you need it to be. It can give you the freedom to find or create the job that will make you excited to get up and go to work every day. It can also give you the freedom to leave a relationship that is bad for you, or even just not quite right, before getting locked into a long term payment plan with someone you may not want to be with next year.
If the answer to both of those questions was a definitive YES! Then here is the next one to ask: Do you plan to live here in this house for at least the next 5 years or more? Why? Because unless you are in the business of flipping houses which takes all of the fees and closing costs into account when calculating a profit, most people should not be paying all of those fees and costs more than once every 5 years at most if they hope to make owning worth it over renting.
If the answer to that last question is yes as well, then, and only then, would I say it’s time to look at the numbers and make sure that the this particular house makes financial sense for you. Here is a great calculator from bankrate.com to help you figure out how much house you can afford.
Personally I advise buying a bit less house than you think you can afford in favor of saving and investing more while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle that won’t make you feel restricted or stretched.
What do you think is the most important consideration before buying? Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments!
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