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Rent vs. Buy - What's The Smarter Choice?
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Use these tools and related resources to help you to determine if and when you should be buying instead of renting and how much you can afford:

Can You Buy? - This mortgage calculator will produce an analysis report to help you determine loan amounts, affordability, mortgage qualification, or whether you should be renting or buying..

Rent vs. Buy - Use this calculator to determine whether it is a better financial decision to now rent or to own a home.

Ginnie Mae - Your Path to Home Ownership (including Renting vs. Buying calculator) - With the information you provide, you will receive a general estimate of how much you can afford to spend on a house; a calculator that gives estimates for FHA, VA and Conventional loans based on the home sale price you provide; plus more First Time Homebuyer tools and resources.

ABA - Rent vs. Buy Calculator - If your current rent payment were going toward a house payment instead, what size mortgage would you be paying? Use this calculator to find out.


Even if you decide to rent, when making an offer to a prospective landlord, they will usually require submission of a credit report. Use the following to estimate and learn about what is considered in determining you scores:

Credit Score Estimator - Want a quick idea of how lenders are likely to rate your credit? The FICO® Score Estimator, created by the inventor of the FICO® score -- Fair Isaac -- will evaluate the information you enter and estimate your credit score range based on that information. Additional simulations and access to actual scores are available at the Fair Isaac web site: MyFICO.com

For more information about the FICO score and your credit, see the following previously-posted articles...

How Your Credit Effects Your Homeowners Insurance

More Debt Raises, Late Payments Lower Credit Scores

See the following previously-posted blog entry...

Free Annual Credit Report for Consumers In Northeastern States Available Sept-Dec



Federal Reserve Studies Show That Buying Is Better Over The Long Term

In its Survey of Consumer Finances, the Federal Reserve has consistently found a huge gap between the wealth piled up by homeowners and that accumulated by renters. Average net worth of homeowners vs. renters:
 
 Average Net Worth of Homeowners vs. Renters
Annual income
Owners
Renters
$80,000 and up
$451,200
$87,400
$50,000 to $79,999
$194,610
$25,000
$30,000 to $49,999
$126,500
$10,600
$16,000 to $29,999
$112,600
$4,240
Under $16,000
$73,000
$500
Source: VIP Forum, Federal Reserve Board

  1. As this table clearly shows, homeowners are significantly wealthier than renters -- a fact that is consistent across all income groups
  2. Home ownership builds wealth in two ways: through the ‘forced savings’ of paying off a bond, and through appreciation -- the rise in the home’s value over time. 
  3. The earlier you can get in the game, the quicker you can get that appreciation working for you. 
  4. The longer you rent, the harder it becomes to buy. You fall further and further behind.

 
4 keys to profitable home ownership


You’re also most likely to win by owning, rather than renting, if the following are true:

  • You plan to stay put at least three years and preferably more.  It takes 3 to 6 years for house to appreciate to cover the costs of mortgages, settlement, maintenance, etc.  Have to be prepared to ride through any downturns in the market.
  • You’re psychologically prepared. You have to be ready to make commitment and discipline. There is no landlord safety net you can call.
  • You have some extra savings.  As you need reserves for repairs, normal maintenance, emergencies, etc.
  • You manage your money well.
  •   Are disciplined.
     

    Source: MSNMoney
     



     


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