There are many perks associated with renting a home. For example, you can easily move into a new home when your lease is up, and this provides you with considerable flexibility. Most landlords handle repair work, so you can enjoy living a hassle-free lifestyle. However, there are also benefits associated with owning your own home, and you may have been increasingly thinking about making your first real estate purchase. Before you do, analyze these factors to ensure that you are ready to take this step.

You Have a Down Payment Fund
Your finances need to be in order before you can buy a house. This includes taking steps to bring your debt situation under control and improving your credit scores as necessary. You also need to research your local market for single family homes to determine if you can afford to make a down payment. Local sales prices will impact the amount of money needed for a down payment. Remember that you will also need to pay for closing costs, and many lenders require you to have a cash reserve after closing as well.

You Plan to Stay Put
Even if you have the money available to purchase real estate, your life plans may not be aligned with this step. For example, you may plan to move out of town within the next year or two. Because of the costs associated with buying and selling, you may actually lose money if you buy a home too quickly. You may also not be able to sell quickly because of future market conditions. If your future plans are up in the air, it is wise to continue renting until you can find stability.

You Are Ready for the Commitment
Regardless of whether you purchase a condo or a single family home, real estate is a major commitment. This is a financial investment that requires regular care and upkeep. You will need to invest time and money into maintenance work, repairs, and even upgrades in order to avoid financial loss related to a lower property value. You also must be committed to the plan of staying in one place, of abiding by HOA rules, of having a regular mortgage payment and more.

There are many factors to review and explore in detail before you decide if you are ready to purchase a new home. Buying real estate before you are truly ready to can result in unnecessary stress and potential financial loss. Take time to weigh the pros and cons associated with a purchase before finalizing your plans.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.