Keller Williams Main Line
Janis Peterson
Janis Peterson, RealtorĀ®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP


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When Is the Right Time to Buy A Home?

Although market conditions and current economic indicators can give an important context for deciding whether it's the right time to buy a home, your decision also depends on your financial situation and readiness to be a homeowner. If you are wondering whether it's a good time to purchase a home, there are several things to think about. This article looks at four important factors to consider when contemplating buying a new home.

Do You Have Enough Money for a Down Payment?

Most lenders ask for a 20 percent down payment to be eligible for a conventional mortgage. However, the more down payment you can pay, the more money you will save over the life of the loan, and you will also be able to reduce your monthly payment. Most people save for the down payment over a period, which can even be years. But for others, the money can come from the sale of an asset or property.

Although the typical down payment for a conventional loan is 20 percent, you can get a loan that requires down payment assistance or a smaller down payment. You can consult with a mortgage banker to find out if you qualify for other loan types with different down payment options.

What Is Your Credit Score?

Even though the total loan amount and terms are important drivers when determining your loan type, your credit score can also be a key factor. So, it's necessary to find out if you have a high enough credit score to purchase a home. If you intend to buy a house, one of the important things to do before you shop for a home is to establish credit.

If you find that you have a low credit score, it's important to take measures to raise your credit score because this will lower your overall monthly payments. It's also important to ensure that you maintain your credit from the time you begin the mortgage process until your last loan payment. Basically, if it's necessary to establish or improve credit, make sure that you do so before you start the mortgage process.

Can You Afford Monthly Payments?

There are three primary factors that determine your monthly payment and these are the loan amount (including the down payment and home price), interest rate, and the duration of the loan. To lower your monthly payment, you can negotiate a bigger down payment or a better home price, as this can reduce the loan amount. You can also lower the interest rate and therefore reduce your monthly payment by improving your credit score or opting for specific loan types.

If you choose a longer loan term, for instance, 30 years, you can expect to have lower monthly payments than if you go for a 15-year mortgage. However, longer-term monthly payments mean more payments will be made over the life of the loan, and more interest will be paid on the loan. Monthly payments also typically include taxes, insurance, and in some cases even Home Owners Association (HOA) dues.

What Are the Market Conditions?

It's vital to have a good understanding of the overall market conditions when looking to buy a new home. The easiest information to find is inventory. If more people are buying than selling, selling your current house will be easier. However, you might pay a premium price for your new house. In contrast, when there is more inventory than homebuyers, you may have to exercise a lot of patience when selling your home. But you may get a deal that is better on your new home. Based on interest rates, the market can change rapidly.

When looking to buy property, it's not uncommon for many homebuyers to try to figure out if home values are falling or rising, while also focusing on mortgage rates. And while these are important standards to follow when determining if it's the right time to buy a home, the four key factors discussed above are vital considerations as well. At the end of the day, the ideal time to buy a home is when you can afford to.   

About Main Line Homes

Janis Peterson, Realtor®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP, is an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR). She has been helping Main Line Buyers and Sellers since 1994. Areas in which she specializes include Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester County, including homes for sale in Radnor, homes for sale in Wayne, and homes for sale in Villanova, as well as homes for sale on the entire Main Line. Contact Janis at Tel: 610-642-3744 or e-mail her at, and she will help you find your dream home!

Janis Peterson, REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP
Main Line Homes Luxury Real Estate Agent

Keller Williams Main Line
Suburban Square
6 Coulter Ave 
Ardmore, PA 19003 
Direct: (610) 642-3744

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Whether you're selling your current home or are looking for your dream home, call us at (610) 642-3744 or e-mail for a free consultation.


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