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Should You Buy A House?

How to decide if and when you should buy a house

"Should I buy a house?" is one of the most important questions that many people will ever ask themselves! The decision whether or not to buy a house is a major one, and it isn't one to make without thoughtful consideration.

There are many factors that help determine whether home ownership is right for you. And if it is, when is the right time to buy? Here are just a few of the most important things you need to consider when trying to decide if you should buy a house of your own:

  1. Would you be happy owning your home knowing what the associated responsibilities are? Home ownership means you'll be responsible for mowing the lawn, fixing the toilet, painting, and all of the other tasks that will be required occasionally.
  2. Do you plan to live in the house for at least five years? If not, you probably shouldn't buy a house because you'll realize little or no gain in exchange for a period of heavy responsibilities.
  3. Is your salary sufficient to cover a large mortgage payment while still keeping the rest of your bills paid up? It's typically cheaper to rent than it is to buy a house, especially when you factor in the costs of taxes, insurance, and maintenance!
  4. Are you at a point in your career where you'll have the free time to devote to maintaining and improving your home? If not, you probably shouldn't buy a house.
  5. Do you have a desire to buy a house and build equity for the future? Buying a home is one of the best long-term investments you can make while rent money is gone forever.
  6. Do you have two or more children that really need the extra space that an apartment simply cannot offer? If so, would it make more sense to buy a house or rent one given your family, career, and financial situations? 
  7. Would owning a home of your own give you a sense of self-worth and achievement that you can't get by renting? If so, it just might be a wise move to buy a house. If not, it still might be a wise move depending on your answers to the other questions listed above.

Taking the time to carefully consider the above questions and answer them honestly can help you determine if you should buy a house or continue renting. And remember, the answers might well change over time so you should reconsider the questions every once in a while.

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