Home Buying December 19, 2023

Timing the Market vs. Timing Your Life: The Homebuyers Dilemma

“The best investment on Earth is earth.” Louis Glickman

When’s the Right Time to Buy a Home? It’s Simpler Than You Think

Buying a home can feel overwhelming with all the market forecasts and economic indicators. One minute, the news is full of doom and gloom about the economy; the next, there’s talk of a booming market. It’s confusing. But here’s a simple truth to cut through the noise: the best time to buy a home is when you’re financially ready. Let’s break down why that’s always the case.

Understanding Market Timing

Think of timing the housing market like trying to predict the stock market – it’s pretty tricky. It’s tempting to try and wait for the ‘perfect’ moment to buy, but that’s often more about luck than anything else. Most experts, like real estate agents and financial advisors, will tell you it’s hard to predict what the market will do next. But here’s something more reassuring: if you buy wisely in a stable area, chances are your investment will grow over time. Forbes says it usually takes about four years to see positive returns from a home investment.

Your Finances: What to Consider

In the rush to buy a home, people often forget to check their financial health. Are you earning a stable income? How’s your debt compared to your income? And what about your savings for a down payment? These are the real questions that determine when you should buy. Forbes advises following the 28/36 rule: spend no more than 28% of your income on your mortgage and 36% on total household debt. And here’s a number to think about – Bankrate reports that the average down payment in the U.S. is around $31,500, which is about 15% of the purchase price. But remember, these are just guidelines. What matters most is your financial comfort.

Are You Emotionally Ready?

There’s more to buying a home than just the finances. It’s about whether you’re ready for the responsibilities that come with it. Are you up for the maintenance work, the repairs, and settling down in one place? This is about your life and your choices, not just the market. I often suggest to clients to spend some time in the backyard of a house they’re considering. Feel the space, imagine your life there.

Finding Your Home on Your Terms

When you buy a home that matches both your financial situation and your personal readiness, you’re in the driver’s seat. This way, you’re looking for a home that brings you peace, not stress over market trends.

In Conclusion: Listen to Your Life, Not Just the Market

The real estate market can be a rollercoaster, and while it’s good to stay informed, your home-buying decision should be more about your own financial stability and life situation. A home isn’t just a financial investment, after all – it’s where your life happens. Suze Orman puts it perfectly: “Owning a home is a keystone of wealth… both financial affluence and emotional security.”

So, when you’re thinking about buying a home, remember to focus on what’s right for you. Your journey is unique, and understanding these key aspects can help you navigate the process with confidence.

When you are ready, reach out. I am eager to help!
774-275-4035 | mark.kotsopoulos@mcphs.edu