There are plenty of great reasons to purchase a home in Boston in 2015. To begin with, mortgage rates remain astoundingly low. And while the demand generally outweighs the supply in the Boston metro area, sometimes making it difficult to find the perfect property, home values are also on the rise.
What does it all mean? Financially speaking, buying property in Boston right now is a sound, smart decision for many—but you still need to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. With that in mind, consider these crucial questions before making the plunge.
1. What’s Your Reason for Buying?
When it comes down to it, this is the most important question to consider. If you’re purchasing a home for the right reasons, the rest will likely fall into place. And there’s no shortage of good reasons to buy a home. Perhaps you’re looking into owning property as an investment. Maybe you’re starting a family and you’ve outgrown your current digs. Or simple you’ve done the math and discovered that owning makes more financial sense than renting.
The key is to have a concrete reason informed by your own needs and goals. Any of the above reasons are perfectly sound. But if you’re only buying a home because you feel like it’s something you have to do, for example, or because it’s the next logical “step” in your life, take a step back—and ask yourself whether home ownership makes most sense for you right now.
2. Do You Have A Long-Term Plan?
Purchasing a home is a long-term commitment. There’s the mortgage, of course, which will usually last 15 or 30 years. But there’s also the research, the buying and closing itself, the move-in, potential renovations, and so on.
So before you take the leap, ask yourself—have you carefully considered your long-term plans? It’s alright if you don’t know where you’re going to be in 30 years—very few people do. But if looking ahead even four or five years has you feeling dizzy, confused, or ambivalent, it may not be the right time to buy.
3. Can You Afford It?
This is the most practical concern, but it’s not a simple one. There are many factors that go into affording a home—too many to list here. Of course you need to know what your monthly mortgage payments are going to look like, how much you’ll need for a down payment and other initial costs, all while leaving some wiggle room for the unexpected.
In the end, you don’t need to let finances hold you back from buying a home altogether, especially given today’s low interest rates and an increasingly healthy real estate market. The important thing is to know your own budget, enabling you to choose a home with a price tag that leaves room for the rest of your life—not just today, but several years down the road as well.