Here’s the No. 1 sign that you can afford to buy a home in 2018

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Am I Ready to Buy a Home in 2018?

If you’re aiming to purchase a home in 2018, it’s time to start saving. And then to save some more. Between putting money down, keeping up with mortgage payments and repairs and maintaining your emergency fund, you can never have too much stashed away.

But how much do you need, really, before you’re ready to make a purchase?

The No. 1 sign that you have enough saved for buying a home is that you can easily put 10 percent down, have 10 percent for closing costs and other move-in expenses and still feel comfortable affording the expected monthly mortgage payment. You don’t necessarily need to put a full 10 percent down, but having enough to do that regardless provides a nice financial cushion for the expected, yet irregular, costs that are bound to arise, including insurance, new furniture and any updates or repairs. Both you and the mortgage provider will feel much more comfortable if you are entering the buying process in this position of strength.

Once you think you’ve got a fair amount saved up, ask yourself: If you put 10 percent down, plus another 10 percent for cover closing costs and moving expenses, would you still be able to pay your mortgage and live comfortably? If the answer is no, you might want to keep saving.

The No. 1 sign that you don’t have enough money to buy a home is if you find yourself saying, ‘I think we might be able to make it work.” You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re barely scraping by. Life is all about taking calculated risks when appropriate, but taking a risk on the largest purchase you’ve ever made is not smart.” Emotions run high (both excitement and stress) when searching for a home, but moving too quickly is a recipe for disaster.