couple in front of home

Information for Potential Homebuyers

When you think about buying a home, many questions will come to mind. Do I really need to buy a home? Is my income going to grow? Will I stay in a home long enough to benefit from the purchase? Have I got enough money saved? Am I ready for the responsibility? Buying a home is a major financial move so before you decide to buy, carefully consider the pros and cons of homeownership.

Buying a home is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but when faced with rising rent and low mortgage interest rates that make purchasing more affordable, you should take the time to consider the pros and cons of both renting and buying. Long-term homeowners, even those whose homes lost value during the recession, can build wealth that can be used to fund their retirement or pay for college. As long as you can comfortably afford your housing payments and are emotionally prepared to commit to homeownership, buying a home can be a smart financial move. So, before you decide to buy, carefully consider the pros and cons of homeownership.

Buying a home has many advantages, but so does renting. The best choice depends on your life situation.

Here are a few possible benefits of homeownership:

  • Pride of homeownership. Having a home of your own gives you a sense of pride and the freedom to live as you wish.  You can have pets and make changes to your home to suit your tastes and lifestyle.
  • Homeownership builds wealth. Over time, a home typically appreciates in value, and at the same time you gradually increase your wealth as you pay down your mortgage.
  • Stability. With a home purchase, you set down some roots. You may find yourself more settled and committed to connecting with neighbors and improving your community.

Advantages of Renting

  • Greater mobility. If you plan on moving within the next five years, or even daydream about moving, stick with the renter’s market. A house is not only a home, it’s an investmen, and one of the biggest commitments you’ll ever make. Buying and moving too soon could cost you your investment and then some.
  • Monthly costs. Often, the monthly cost of a mortgage, utilities and maintenance is higher than rent – though this isn’t always the case. Conventional wisdom states that homeowners can comfortably afford a house that costs roughly two-and-a-half times their annual income. If you can’t fit that in your budget quite yet, you’re better off renting.
  • Maintenance and repairs.  When you rent, repairs are the landlord’s responsibility. When you own a home, you have to make the repairs yourself or pay someone else to do them.

While investing in a home may seem to offer stability, freedom and a positive financial return, this is not a guarantee. Hence, the question–to own or not to own?

If you are ready to purchase a home, we have tons of resources available for you in the “I’m A Homebuyer” section of this website or you can contact our Home Hotline at 844-995-Home and connect with a housing expert.


Tools and Resources

How We Can Help

Buying a house is the largest financial investment you will probably make, so you want to make sure you’ve done your homework and are prepared to take that next step. It may be a great option and a good long-term investment, but only if you’re ready for the financial commitment and responsibility of homeownership.

Homeownership has changed and every homebuyer needs to know the new rules. Whether you are looking for a first home or getting back into the market, today’s homebuyers have to be more prepared and armed with information. The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) is here to help as you navigate through this complex process. Our housing counselors provide pre-purchase counseling and homebuyer education.


Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) can connect you with a HUD approved housing counselor that will conduct an analysis of your financial picture, help you understand the financial requirements and responsibilities of homeownership, and advise you on affordability and mortgage readiness. If you are financially ready to purchase a home, the counselor can guide you toward resources that can help you in the process. If you are not financially ready the counselor can help your prepare for homeownership.

Homebuyer Education

Quality homebuyer’s education is the foundation of successful homeownership. It explains the entire process in easy-to-understand terms and provides you with a basic level of understanding of the home purchase process, the steps involved and the requirements and responsibilities of homeownership. Either in-person or online, taking a homebuyer education workshop helps prepare you for long term homeownership success! People who complete a homebuyer education course are 10 times less likely to go into foreclosure.* They are empowered to ask the right questions, they understand what they can afford, and they recognize their responsibilities.

HPF is happy to partner with the Minnesota Homeownership Center and the Housing Partnership Network to offer you Framework—an online homebuyer education program. This high quality, interactive experience will ensure that you are a smart, confident and successful homeowner. Framework provides the facts you need to become well-informed about every step in the process. It also meets National Industry Standards and all HUD Housing Counseling Program requirements.

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