Let me buck the trend of the response you’re getting to give you something to think about. Buying a house simply because you can or feel you're ready isn’t always the best thing to do.
Pragmatically you need to sit on the place 5—7 years for the deal to “wash out” and make purchase a better call over renting. Are you there yet? Hard to say.
I point this out because what I see with a lot of young (single/no children) individuals/couples is they want to get into homeownership, their budget is constrained and they wind up purchasing a one or two bedroom townhome/condo that fits their lifestyle (at the time) and then in one or two years they’re married, they want to (or do have a kid) and suddenly they realize – “hey, we need a bedroom for the kids, or a yard to play in or this isn’t such a good school district”.
Frankly, they loose money transitioning into a bigger home – notwithstanding the market of course, you’re going to need that 5—7 year cushion to at least break even.
I’d really evaluate where you’re going and what the goals are. My recommendation for someone looking to start a family is a 3-bedroom starter that is in as good a public school district as you can swing and which is also convenient with work. If you can swing that as a single man – it may be a good move. Keeping in mind spouses (present and future; husbands or wives) have specific ideas in what they are looking for in home as well.
I say “you” presently because I’m generally not a fan of joint ownership arrangements (even where/if you can) when you got people in a “non-business relationship”. There are exceptions of course, e.g., non-traditional relationships but by-and-large the relationship goes sour and what have you got? Two people that hate each other but own a house together. Also it’ll make the deal a whole lot more difficult to finance.
Speaking of which, be mindful the current national average credit score for home financing is 749 (more or less) which is totally crazy IMHO but it is what it is. I’d suggest going in to your banker, credit union, or friendly mortgage broker and having a look-see to what you can qualify for right now. And also see if you can get an estimate to what that picture would look like together and together as husband and wife.
My opinions only. Your mileage may vary. Tax, title and license extra.
- I am a strong believer (especially when you undertake a note) in having an emergency fund of 3-6 months non-discretionary funds available – just in case you get laid off you’ve got some “wiggle-room” in getting a cash flow going again.
- I’ve always been a big believer (and since the mortgage crisis banks have again too) in the rule of 28% and 36% -- that is add up your mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes and impounds) and any recurring debt payments (student loans, car notes, etc) divide that by your gross income and it should be no higher than 36% and ideally below 28%.