5 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home in Philadelphia

You love living in Philadelphia. So much so that you’re considering buying a home here. Since everyone’s timeline for homeownership is different, here are a few signs that you might be ready to buy a home in Philly.

Philly’s really estate market is doing well. In May, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that home prices finished the first quarter of 2016 above the peak of 2007, right before the housing bubble burst. No matter how long you’ve been in the city, if you love it and consider it your home, you might be wondering if now is the right time to buy a home. Although each person’s exact situation will be different, there are a few signs you can look at to see if the time is right for buying in Philly.

You Plan on Living Here for a While

A lot goes into buying a home in Philadelphia. You not only need to invest time into finding a place to live, you also need to invest time into getting a mortgage, and you need to invest money into the closing costs and other fees associated with buying a home. It’s usually not cost effective to buy a home, then move again within a year or two. Not only do you risk not getting back your initial costs if you move quickly, you also risk having to pay more to sell your home. Often, it’s more expensive to sell a home than it is to buy one, especially if your home hasn’t increased in value much between the time you bought it and when you sold it.

You Have Some Stability

Buying a house is a commitment, not only to the property, but also to the company who is giving you a mortgage. For that reason, most lenders will want to see evidence of a stable job and steady income. If your income fluctuates considerably or you can’t see yourself working in the same job or advancing in your career next few years, it might not be time to buy. On the other hand, if you have a track record of steady income and employment, you’re probably ready to commit to home ownership.

You’ve Fallen in Love With a Neighborhood

Whether it’s Fishtown, Fairmount, or Pennsport, you’ve become absolutely enamored of the neighborhood in Philly you call home. You might have a regular routine that involves getting coffee at your local cafe, visiting your closest park, and socializing with your neighbors. It makes sense to want own a small piece of the area you are already calling home.

You Have a Down Payment Saved Up

When it comes to being ready to buy a home, money talks. Even if you have a steady source of income and love your area, a lender is also going to look for a considerable down payment. While 20 percent down is often recommended, you can also put down less, especially if you go through a program such as the Federal Housing Administration. It’s also a good idea to have several months worth of income saved up, just in case you hit a rough patch after buying a home.

You Have Some Flexibility

Having some flexibility in your current living situation can make things easier when buying a home. If you need to be out of your current rental in X number of days, you might feel rushed and end up buying the first home you see, which might not be the best one. Having flexibility in your schedule means you can easily adjust if there are any bumps on the road to homeownership.

Before you start looking at homes in Philly, make a list of what you absolutely want and figure out your budget. The better your idea of what you want and can afford, the better prepared you’ll be for buying a home.

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