Have you dreamt of being king of your own castle? No more at the mercy of landlords, paying rent that buys you nothing but a borrowed roof; nor staying with your parents or relatives. Buying a home of your own is truly an exciting and life-changing experience.
Home owning is one of the more pivotal decisions you will make in life. It’s no laughing matter as the step will cost you up to 30 years in instalment payments. The commitment is for ¾ of your life and not one you will make lightly. So as much as you’d love to put your name above the bell in your chosen residence, ask yourself if you’re truly ready to make this commitment.
Here are four tell-tale signs that you’re ready to sign that mortgage.
No 1: You’ve saved some amount for downpayment
It doesn’t matter that banks are now offering 100% loans for eligible borrowers; if you saved up even as little as RM5000, it means you’re serious about a new home. Whether the you use the sum to pay down the mortgage or to pay lawyer and transfer fees (which you will have to pay!), having the discipline to save the money means you’ve not just thought of and lusted over having your home: you’ve walked the talk to save for it. You may have even endured some genuinely trying times to save this amount and that means you know what a financial burden your own home can be – and you’re willing to be uncomfortable to get it.
No 2: You understand the financial obligation
Owning a home isn’t just a matter of repaying the loan amount. There is the added responsibility of electricity, water and other bills to foot. Not to mention the sudden need for repair of a leaky faucet, broken pipe or worse; a broken down washing machine. These things can happen and they do. You will need to be financially ready for it!
No 3: You understand mortgage bank-speak
Finding the right mortgage isn’t as simple as walking into the first bank you see. There are flexi loans; standard loans; Islamic loans; loans based on BLR and those not based on BLR. What is a newbie to do? Well, start researching! There is a wealth of resources online on buying your first home and what you need to know. Look through your home loan options based on what you can afford and find the best loan with the most competitive interest rate. Always remember, this is a loan you will be servicing for a good 20 years or more, so you want to make the best decision possible. If you don’t know anything about home loans and aren’t interested to find out thinking it’s the kind of thing that works itself out: you’re not ready for a home!
Tip: Read the 9 rules about home loans you must know!
No 4: It’s something you really want
This sounds simple but you will be surprised how many people buy homes for the wrong reasons. It could be to escape parental pressures; to appear well-off and successful to friends or even simply because they’ve been told it’s the next step in life. None of these are good enough reasons to buy a home and will surely lead you to regret. Instead, examine your lifestyle and be sure this is something you really, really want.
For some, especially those prone to moving a lot, renting is a much better option. A rented place gives you the flexibility to move when you need to without the hassle of selling a home. Renting is also better for people who just simply aren’t financially ready for a mortgage but would like to ‘test the waters’ by living independently. This is a good precursor to one day owning your own home.
Buying your first property is a big commitment and will require a more severe lifestyle change than some are ready to handle. So do consider this carefully. If a home is really what you want; then the small sacrifices will be worth it as there is nothing more comforting than knowing that the roof over your head is well and truly yours.
*Picture courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net.