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Questionnaire: Are You Ready to Buy a Property?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 26 Jan 2011 | comments*Discuss
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Buying a property is a huge responsibility and financial commitment. Before you take such a big step, review your current situation and future goals so that you can be sure if owning a home really fits into your lifestyle.

To help you reflect on your readiness to own property we have put together the following questionnaire. After answering each question count up your “yes” answers and match the total number to the explanations at the end to better determine if you are ready to buy a property.

Are You Ready to Buy a Property?

1. Do you have money saved for a deposit/down payment on a property?
2. Will you qualify for a mortgage given your deposit/down payment and income?
3. Will the mortgage for which you qualify be affordable given your income?
4. Would you still have money for closing and moving costs if you buy a home?
5. Will your weekly/monthly budget be able to accommodate the costs of home ownership?
6. Will you be able to protect your emergency fund savings if you buy and own a home?
7. Are you ready to give up time to routine home ownership/property chores?
8. Are you interested in staying in a property long enough to make buying and selling worth it?
9. Is the home you can afford now going to accommodate your future family plans?
10. If you purchase a home with a spouse, could you afford it if either income drops?
11. Do you like the properties you can afford to buy now?
12. Do you feel prepared to take on a mortgage on top of your existing debt?

What do your results tell you?

“Yes” to between zero and four questions - then you are most likely not ready to buy a property. It may be that you thought no further than a deposit/down payment and qualifying for a mortgage, but just because these numbers might be right for you doesn’t mean that they fit with the rest of your life. Remember that you will also assume the cost of maintaining the property as well as your current lifestyle (utilities, food, car payments, student loans, insurance, etc) so only you can truly know if you can afford to buy a property right now. There are many hidden costs to owning a home, and if you aren’t prepared to stay in a home for very long then in the end you may lose money from buying rather than renting. Take a few more weeks or months to really consider your budget and the properties you can currently afford to decide if you are truly ready to buy a property.

“Yes” to between five and eight questions - then you may be ready to buy a property. You likely could make the financial aspects of buying and owning a home work for you, and you have probably already considered the time and energy commitments of becoming a home owner as well. Look back over your “no” answers to determine what might be holding you back. If it is financial, could you consult a professional planner? If it is emotional, could you seek support and advice from friends and family? The more information you can gather from objective sources the more prepared you will be to decide if you are ready to buy a property.

“Yes” to nine or more questions - then you are most likely ready to buy a property. You no doubt have reviewed the numbers many times and feel confident that you can afford to buy and maintain your own home, and you have probably already reviewed the new tasks associated with home ownership and decided you can take those on as well. If you did answer “no” to any question make these your top priority going forward and figure out how you can change them to “yes” so that you can feel as secure as possible in your decisions. If you need more information or advice, seek if from a trusted, impartial source so that you won’t feel as though anyone is pushing you in any particular direction.

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