home ownershipIf you’re currently renting a home and your lease is up, it’s important to look at your situation and decide if you want to stay where you are or take the leap into homeownership. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to ask yourself these questions before your current lease expires:

What’s your credit score like?

Before you step into homeownership, look at your credit score and see if it needs improvement. Your credit score is an important factor in getting a mortgage loan, as it’s one factor in determining loan eligibility. Many things can affect your credit score, from late payments to reporting errors. Take the time to review your credit report, get any errors corrected and make sure that all bills are paid on time every time. This strategy can help raise your score for more favorable terms.

Can you afford the costs of homeownership?

Owning a home means expenses other than a down payment and a monthly mortgage payment. There is home insurance, closing costs, and maintenance and repair costs to take into consideration. If you just have enough for the monthly payment without much wiggle room, it may be best to continue renting for now.

A great place to start to get a handle on home expenses is to create a homeownership budget so you can get an idea of how much you can afford. When it comes to purchasing a home, down payment assistance, as well as other first-time homebuyer programs, are available. Talk to your lender at for more information.

Do you plan on living in the same place?

Owning a home is an investment and If you plan on moving again in a few years, continuing to rent might be the best solution. Some people like the freedom that renting gives them to easily move, and that’s ok! But if you’re looking to settle long-term and want to know the next steps, talk to your local lender at to get started.

Have questions about your mortgage?

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.