Checklist: Are You Ready for Homeownership?

by Jorge A. Gonzalez, PA 10/29/2018

Buying a home is a lengthy process that requires months or even years of planning. The end result, however, is to have a home you can truly call your own and to own equity that you can then use later down the road.

Figuring out the right time to buy a home can be difficult for prospective homeowners. You’ll need to have a firm grasp on your finances and personal goals for what you want your life to look like for the next 5 or more years.

Buying a home in more than just a financial commitment. It also means you take on all of the responsibilities of owning that home. Maintenance, both inside and out, can take up a significant amount of your time.

Furthermore, owning a home ties you down to one area. You’ll need to determine if you’re ready and able to settle in one area for the next 5-7 years. This has implications for careers and for family life. Will your job bring you elsewhere? If you change jobs, are there ample opportunities where you live? These are just a couple of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself before deciding whether you’re ready to buy a home.

To simplify the process, I’ve created a checklist for some of the things you’ll need before you’re ready to buy a home. While this list does cover the basics, there may be other factors unique to your circumstances that you’ll have to take into consideration.

So, if you’re thinking about buying a home sometime in the near future, read on for the checklist. And, keep in mind that these are not necessarily mandatory before buying a home. But they will give you the best chance of making a solid investment and securing financial stability.

The home buyer’s preparedness checklist

  • Raise your credit score to 750 or more. A score in the “excellent” range will help you get the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage. It’s possible to get approved for a mortgage with a score that is much lower, but a high score is ideal and can help you avoid PMI and a high interest rate.

  • Have an emergency fund saved. You don’t want to buy a house and then suddenly find yourself needing money for an emergency. Save a month’s worth of expenses before your down payment.

  • Have an active budget plan for saving up your down payment. Creating a dedicated savings account that you automatically have a portion of your pay deposited into is a good way to ensure that you meet your savings goals.

  • Bolster the case for your financial stability. Lenders will want to see that your income is predictable and regular. Keep records of your income, tax returns, and anything else that can help show that you’re making more than enough money to safely lend to.

  • Have open conversations with your family. If you’ll be buying a home with a spouse and/or children, discuss what you’re looking for in a home. This can include location, size, etc. It’s a good idea for everyone to be on the same page before you ever start shopping for a home.

  • Get preapproved. Getting preapproved for a home loan will make you a better prospective buyer in the eyes of sellers.

  • Run the numbers again. Aside from your mortgage payments, you’ll also have to pay utilities, trash removal, property taxes, and any other expenses related to the home. Make sure you can comfortably afford these while still contributing to savings.

About the Author
Author

Jorge A. Gonzalez, PA

Jorge Gonzalez and his “Team Dad of Eight" will help you sell your home in a way that accomplishes your personal and financial goals by making the best use of technology to create massive market exposure and secure the highest price and best terms for the sale of your home in the shortest possible time. If you are looking to buy, then he will use his strong negotiation skills to get you the best deal possible on the property that you purchase.

Experience & Education

Jorge has been selling, managing and investing in both residential and commercial real estate since 1986 and has worked with Buyers and Sellers to navigate them through hundreds of transactions. Jorge's education and proven experience have earned him the distinguished CRS Designation - "Certified Residential Specialist" - which is achieved by only 3% of all Realtors in the country.

Jorge earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on Finance and International Business from Florida International University in 1990.

International Reach

Jorge is a Keller Williams Global Property Specialist and has earned the internationally recognized Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation from the National Association of Realtors. This designation is evidence of Jorge’s training and experience working with Foreign Nationals in the purchase, sale and investment in properties throughout South Florida and abroad.

Technology

Jorge maximizes the leverage that the internet provides by marketing your home to buyers through over 300 local,  national, and international real estate  listing websites.

Expertise

Jorge specializes in the sale of the finer homes of Greater Miami. Especially in Coral Gables, East Kendall, Sunset, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Coconut Grove, Brickell Area, Downtown and Key Biscayne.

Communication

Jorge cares about being very accessible to his customers. He believes that it is important to establish clear expectations for effective communication to deal with issues as they come, and out of mutual respect for business and personal time.

Personal

Yes, Jorge actually is the Dad of EIGHT children and has been married to Eva - Mom of 8 - since 1985. Jorge and Eva are actively involved in their faith community and ministry to women in crisis pregnancies, marriage preparation, and the poor in the Miami area and in the island nations of the Caribbean.

Our Commitment to You

Jorge and his team are committed to earning your confidence to refer them to your family and friends, or you may cancel your listing agreement "at will“.