Buy­ing a house it’s not for every­one

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook - OTHER GOALS HID­DEN COSTS

Mak­ing the leap from rent­ing to buy­ing is thrilling and lib­er­at­ing.

But it’s also a big de­ci­sion, both for your future and your fi­nances.

It’s a long-term com­mit­ment that re­quires strong fi­nan­cial stand­ing, and in many ways it’s about more than just money.

If any of the fol­low­ing signs strike a chord with you, you may want to de­lay the home-buy­ing process.

If some­one asks why you want to buy a house and your first an­swer is some­thing along the lines of ‘‘be­cause I’m wasting money on rent’’ or ‘‘be­cause it’s a good in­vest­ment,’’ you might not be men­tally pre­pared for all the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that come with home own­er­ship.

It’s smarter to look for a house that meets non­mon­e­tary goals: It’s in your dream neigh­bour­hood or it’s a good place to start a fam­ily.

‘‘you might not be men­tally pre­pared for all the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.’’ Em­mie Martin

Even with a full emer­gency fund, you should still be able to con­tinue putting money away for other goals.

‘‘If you’re sav­ing money ev­ery month, that means your cash flow is in good shape, which is a good sign you’re ready to buy a home,’’ Roberge says.

If you can’t spare any­thing more than the mort­gage pay­ment, con­sider putting off pur­chas­ing a home un­til your cash­flow is more sta­ble.

Don’t feel like you need to have ev­ery penny worth of debt paid off be­fore you can pur­chase a home.

But do a deep dive into why you have debt and how you’re plan­ning to deal with it, from stu­dent loans to credit card charges.

There are a moun­tain of hid­den costs, from clos­ing fees to taxes, that can add up.

You’ll have to con­sider things such as prop­erty tax, in­sur­ance, util­i­ties, mov­ing costs, ren­o­va­tions, and per­haps the most over­looked ex­pense: main­te­nance.

It’s im­por­tant to con­sider your hous­ing bud­get within the con­text of your future goals.

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