Buying a home is a major life milestone and a grand achievement. When you own your home, you get a sense of pride in ownership along with the potential for some great equity.
What is the best age to buy a house, and is there a certain time in life where you should prepare to buy? The answer depends on a myriad of factors that can help you determine if the time is right for you.
Read on to learn more about when the best age to buy a house is, and if it pertains to your current stage in life.
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Assess Your Plans and Goals
If you’re young and career-minded, buying a house might be a priority. However, young people are much more capable of moving anywhere, and owning a home could tie you down, preventing you from exploring a new city or career.
For millennials who are single without children, buying a house might not be the best move just yet. This factor largely depends on whether or not you plan to stick around your current area or if you’re planning to keep the same job in the same town.
On the other hand, adults who are married with kids may want to consider purchasing a home. You’ll need to look at your current lifestyle, debt, and other financial factors before you take the plunge.
Many people have hopes and dreams of buying a house, but they simply don’t have the cash. If homeownership is your ultimate goal, start saving money for a down payment and get your credit score to a high level as soon as possible before you start the house-hunting process.
The Best Age to Buy a House: Your 30’s
While there’s no true restriction on a particular age when it comes to buying a home, if you’re looking to gain equity, your 30’s is prime time. Spending your hard-earned money on rent can cost you in the long run, particularly in terms of gaining equity.
Buying a home is an investment in your future, and even if you move later, the younger you are the more cash you could walk away with when you sell. Older people tend to stay put which means they won’t get the equity out of their homes unless they do a cash-out refinance.
People who are in their 30’s still have a chance to make a profit on their home since it’s much easier for younger people to buy, sell, and move to a new location. You can also borrow against the equity in your home by taking a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Many homeowners do this when they purchase a starter home, then take the equity out later to do remodeling.
Another perk to buying young is that you have a great chance of paying off the home completely before retirement. This one thing can make a huge difference when it comes to peace of mind as you get older.
Home Buying for Older Generations
For older adults and seniors over the age of 60, starting a 30-year mortgage from scratch might not be a wise financial move. However, if you’re buying a second home to replace your current one, you can take the equity you’ve earned and then use it toward a down payment.
There really is no “best age to buy a house” if your main goal is to have a place you’ll love. Just make sure you’re able to handle the new mortgage payments based on your current income before you commit.
Many older adults look at buying a second home for vacations or as an income property. Weigh the pros and cons heavily before you take out a second mortgage to ensure that you’re completely ready for the commitment.
If you’ve saved a lot of money and can buy a new home outright, buying a house when you’re older is a great move. Talk to a financial planner before you decide whether or not the task of home buying is right for your specific situation.
Buying a Home: Tips for Any Age
Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 60s, buying a house is a monumental decision. Here are some important tips that apply to every buyer, no matter the age:
- Shop lenders to make sure your new mortgage has the best interest rates and terms
- Save up for a down payment and get your credit score up before applying for a mortgage
- Consider your goals for the future and decide if where you’re currently located is somewhere you see yourself in several years
- Talk to a real estate agent or mortgage broker who can help walk you through the pros, cons, and process of buying a home
- Make a list of your priorities and your financial situation to help you see the big picture more clearly
To Buy or Not to Buy
It’s hard to say what the best age to buy a house is for everyone. However, if you know your personal goals, you love where you are, and you’re an informed buyer who knows their financial situation well, buying a home at any age can be a wise move.
Talk to a professional who can help you determine if home buying is right for your age and your goals. With some patience and clarity, you’ll be able to trust your instincts when it’s time to put in an offer.
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