12 Unmistakable Signs That You Are Ready to Buy a Home

Young couple looking at home with real estate agent

Homeownership is an important part of American prosperity.

It provides secure, consistent housing and, because a mortgage payments become real ownership, acts as a forced savings account. It allows you to take pride in your property and lets you change, improve, and use the home as you see fit. For these reasons and more, people are often told that homeownership needs to happen; the sooner the better!

But it’s not always the right time to purchase. There are, in fact, just as many reasons not to buy as there are to buy. So how can you possibly know if the time is right?

While every decision needs to be based on personal circumstances, there are signs that indicate it’s time for you to jump into the rewarding world of homeownership!

Are You Ready to Buy a Home? 12 Signs that the Time is Right

1. Your Debt Load is Manageable

Because it’s connected to many other factors, this is possibly the single most important sign. If you have a significant amount of consumer debt, you are likely going to struggle with making payments on a high-quality home. How much debt is too much debt? That all depends on your income and the lender, but you should avoid having monthly payments that approach 50% of your income.

2. You Have Enough for at Least a Small Down Payment…

There is a myth that you need at least 20% down to purchase a home. This is, quite frankly, false. But having a down payment is helpful, as it will reduce the total you borrow for the home. This factor does have flexibility, however, as there are some options for 100% financing, but bringing a down payment is always helpful.

3. …Plus a Little Something for Emergency Expenses

If you move into a new home and the heater breaks down, can you pay for it? What if the garage door, garbage disposal, or dish washer stop working? Having at least a small emergency fund will take some of the stress out of moving to a new home.

4. Your Credit Score is Decent

Suburban house with white exterior
If your finances are strong and your credit is healthy, you may be ready to buy a home.

You may not need fantastic credit to get a mortgage loan, but having a quality score can be extremely beneficial. Your score will determine the availability of loans, as well as terms such as interest rates. If your score is extremely low, you may want to consider pausing homeownership and focusing on improving your financial stability and organization.

5. You Have Money at the End of the Month

This is tied to debt load, but there are other issues that can cause your monthly income to shrink. If you find that your finances are stretched, it may be difficult to make a mortgage payment, but if you have money to spare at the end of every month, you could likely afford a mortgage loan.

6. A Mortgage Payment Would Be Significantly Less Than Your Rent

In some cases, a monthly mortgage bill will be more costly than paying rent. But that’s not always the case. If you are writing a massive rent check every month, it may be time to consider purchasing a home (or moving to a different rental) to reduce your monthly costs.

7. You’re Sick of Living in Someone Else’s Property

Not everything in life is dollars and cents. Quite frankly, it just feels better to live in a home that you own. If you want to paint the walls, you can; if you want to build a deck, you can; if you want to turn the basement into a sports bar, you can! Just knowing that you can do with the house as you please, because it’s your house, can be priceless.

8. You’ve Been at Your Job a While, and You Don’t Plan on Leaving

Leaving your job creates statistical risk for lenders, but if you have been at your job for a while and have no plans to leave, it’s a sign that homeownership would be appropriate. On the contrast, if you expect (or hope) to leave your job soon, you may want to delay a home purchase.

9. You Know Where You’ll Live for at Least Five Years

If you plan on staying in your city or area for the next five years or more, it indicates that home ownership will be right for you. If you are happy in your city, your job, and your social life, then why not settle into a home of your own and take advantage of the stability brought by home ownership?

10. You Live in a Buyer’s Market

When there are many properties available and fewer buyers, you will have an advantage. If a seller is struggling to move a house, they will be more open to negotiated prices, which means you could get a wonderful home for a discount. However, if the market is extremely hot, with few properties and quick sales, you may end up over paying.

11. Interest Rates are Expected to Rise

Some will say that you MUST purchase before interest rates rise. This is simply not true; it’s far more important to have your financial situation in order, regardless of interest rates. However, if you are ready and interest rates will soon be rising, it might indicate that you need to enter the market soon, before the low rates disappear.

12. You Don’t Expect Major Expenses in the Next Few Years

This can be extremely difficult to predict, but if you can reasonably expect to have no major expenses in the next few years, it might give an indication that purchasing is right. Will you need to buy a new car soon? Are you getting married? Will you have newborn children? Will you be purchasing a business? If you expect one of more of these situations, you may want to wait. But if you don’t, perhaps it’s time to buy!

Let Us Guide You to the Right Mortgage

If the time is right for you, contact San Diego Purchase Loans to learn more about available mortgages. We’ll use a common-sense approach to lending approval so you have the best chance at getting the most affordable loan with the right terms for your need



“Chad and his entire team were over the top amazing, professional, and attentive throughout the entire home loan/buying process. I could not have asked for a better team to have on my side through what could be one of the most challenging and stressful processes one experiences. From the first conversation I had with Chad, I felt comfortable with him. He helped guide us through the process without ever once making us feel uneasy, unimportant, or uninformed. I never felt silly or stupid for asking the same questions over and over until I fully understood what we were getting into, or until something made total sense to me. The home loan world is fast paced, overwhelming, and confusing, and Chad and his team held our hands and helped us to feel comfortable and confident about our choices. He and his team were always there for us day or evenings, weekdays, or weekend and never made you feel like you were a bother if you had a burning question you had to get answered at 8pm Saturday night. I will use them again and again, and suggest them to any friend, family, or acquaintance. Seriously, they are rock stars. They work hard for you to get you into your dream home, we could not be happier with their hard work, dedication, and kindness.”

“I wanted to reach out and tell you both Thank You for working so hard on my loan. I really appreciate how much effort you both put in to make it happen! Top notch, one of the best I have ever seen in the business.”

“This is the second time that I have worked with Chad (home purchase & refinance). He has become my subject matter expert and someone I depend on for all finance needs related to our home and real estate investments. My favorite things about Chad are his depth of knowledge, responsiveness, honesty and the great service he provides. I have referred countless friends and family of mine to work with him for no other reason than I know that he will treat them well and equip them for the best possible outcome. Chad will add tremendous value to any real estate transaction that you have and I am grateful to have him as a resource.”

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. It's my goal to keep you updated with the latest real estate mortgage news. I'm proud to provide you with 100% original and unique content. Subscribe now to get high quality real estate mortgage content and articles delivered directly to your inbox. Chad Baker is Regional Manager for Cross Country Mortgage. Chad is consistently recognized in the top 1% of mortgage originators in the United States 2011-2019. Got a question for Chad? Call (858) 353-8331 or submit your question online