Buying a house is no small task. Becoming a homeowner typically takes more responsibility than renting an apartment or living with parents. Though apartments do have their advantages, there are several ways to tell if you are ready to dive into real estate and purchase a house.

However, you don’t want to regret that decision. Before taking on a mortgage, consider the following questions to make sure everyone is ready for this big step:

  1. Can you afford it?
  2. Do you already have a lot of debt?
  3. Did you start or are you planning to start a new job?
  4. Will purchasing the house eat at your savings?
  5. What is your credit score?

Graphic created by New City Moving.

Go Big And Go Home

Many mortgage lenders often expect a 20% down payment, although some require as little as 3%. There are also the closing costs to consider. Property taxes, mortgage insurance, title search fee and home inspection, realtor payments, and more can be included in the closing. Putting more money toward the down payment might help with monthly payments but be mindful of what you can afford and how much you will have left in savings.

A job often influences much of the decision-making process of homebuying. If your current paycheck is already spread thin over debt and expenses, it may be time to find a new position. If accepting a job offer is on the horizon, buying a house may be more of an inconvenience, especially if you can’t commit to the location.

If enough funds have been saved for the down payment and closing costs, make sure you have enough saved for the mortgage, furniture, repairs and outdoor maintenance. After moving from an apartment to a house, there may be unexpected costs that you didn’t have to worry about before.

Whatever your reasons for buying a house, evaluate and make sure you’re ready to make the big move. Deciding when and where to move is a tough decision that requires time, money, effort and self-reflection. Read our resource to learn more about why people relocate and what to look for in a new neighborhood.

AUTHOR BIO: Brian Slater is the founder and President of New City Moving, a Chicago moving company. Slater has more than 10 years of experience in the industry and focuses on providing top-notch customer service as well as a stress-free moving environment.