The desire to buy bank foreclosure homes may have been growing in you for quite some time. This feeling may also be accompanied by the gnawing thought that maybe it is time to be free of the restrictions of renting and be more responsible in terms of homeownership. You check your salary versus the cost of buying a pre-owned house and decided that you could afford to have a house of your own.
But wait. Are you sure ready for it?
Your salary may qualify you for a loan to purchase one of those bank foreclosure homes advertised. You may even think you can still haggle down the price with the seller. But have you checked if you could afford the monthly payments for the house? Your cash flow may have only allowed you to accommodate rent, but can you take a debt of 35 years? It may even eat up 30 percent of your cash flow.
Your emotions can get the better of you. You may have been arguing with yourself, your spouse or your parents that you need a bigger space, more freedom and a place for your business/side business. While it may be logical, you have to do the math first and see if your arguments outweigh the monthly cost of owning a home. Will the new house require you to have a car because of its location? Or will it allow you to ditch the car, save some money by taking the public transport since it is in the middle of the city? Will it allow you to expand your business/side business?
Another thing to consider is the time you need in maintaining your own home? Do you have time to mow the lawn, dig through the snow in your driveway, or do the repairs? These chores may eat up the time that is supposedly devoted to your business/side business and/or family.
Also worth considering is your ability to come up with the down payment for one of those bank foreclosure homes you have been wanting to buy. The era of “no-down payment, introductory low interest rates” is over. Banks have tightened their lending since the credit crisis, so they may require you to make a down payment of at least 20 percent. Without it, you would be paying for a higher interest rate, which would hurt your pocket in the long run.
These questions may help you see clearer if you are really ready to buy your own house – even one of those bank foreclosure homes that are sold below market value. But if your answer to the questions above is “yes”, then proceed in making your monthly budget and long-term financial plan to allow you to take on a new or additional debt for your planned purchase.