Ready to buy?
Many people have a romanticized notion of what it is like to
own a house. Being able to control your surroundings (i.e., choosing
paint colors and not dealing with noisy tenants in your apartment
building) has an undeniable appeal. Still, when you are deciding
whether it is time for you to become a homeowner, you must put
aside these feelings and take a long, hard look at the magnitude
of what you are about to embark.
Certainly, owning a house can be a positive experience. It can
also be a wise investment; instead of paying rent, your mortgage
payment will go toward build equity. But along with those benefits
comes serious responsibility that you must be prepared to assume.
The first difficult thing about home ownership is the upkeep.
If you have rented in the past, then you probably called the building
maintenance person whenever you experienced a problem. While you
may not have received prompt service, at least you didn’t
have to fix the problem yourself or (worse yet) pay someone else
a lot of money to fix it for you. Unlike renters, homeowners must
be prepared to deal with every unfortunate event, including overflowing
toilets, busted appliances, and plumbing issues.
Also, you will have the added responsibility of making a monthly
mortgage payment. While you have probably paid rent on a monthly
basis in the past, mortgage payments are almost always more expensive.
And if something goes wrong with your finances, it is much harder
to move to a cheaper house than it would be to move to a cheaper