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There's no place like home...

But should you rent or own?

Simple Steps to Steady Your Nerves

Purchasing a home can be exciting, satisfying and stressful. Achieve the dream, and help minimize the worry, by following these simple steps.
  • Be sure you're ready to commit. You want to settle down in the area for at least 3 - 5 years. You feel your job and/or other income sources are stable.
  • Review your credit history. High credit scores mean greater loan options and lower interest rates. Review your credit report for errors that may lower your score. Keep in mind, errors happen. It can take up to 60 days for them to be removed from your credit report.
  • Know how much you can afford. Evaluate your current expenses and overall budget. Determine the maximum amount your can realistically afford to spend on housing each month.
  • Get pre-qualified. Before you begin house hunting, confirm how much home you can afford. Call us at 800-822-6761 or stop by a TD Store for an official Pre-qualification Letter based on your gross income and current debt payments (e.g., car payments, outstanding credit card debt, etc.).
  • Research financing options and homebuyer programs. Get started by visiting our Resource Center and taking advantage of The First-time Homebuyers' Kit. Follow-up by researching and leveraging all available local programs and Federal loans available to homebuyers.3
  • Get professional help. A buyer's agent will help guide you through the search and bidding process. A real estate broker or agent can assist you with your search and may have access to exclusive listings.
  • Create your wish list. Know what your new home must have to make you happy. Know what you're comfortable sacrificing.
  • Enjoy the journey! Each step is leading you home.

Some experts believe a real estate recovery is beginning to take hold. Unemployment rates are dropping and interest rates remain low. Whether you're currently renting or you own your home, if you're dreaming of someplace new, this may be a good time to consider whether or not to make your move.

The Pros of home ownership:

The Cons of home ownership:

Do what's right for you.

Understand your lifestyle, what you can afford and what makes you happy. Whether you rent or own the cabin in the mountains, the ocean-side cape cod, the suburban matchbox or the downtown loft, if it feels right, meets your needs and fits your budget, you're home.

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1Housing market changes will affect the price of your home, sometimes negatively. If you borrow against your home's equity, you may end up owing more than your home is worth.

2Homeowners living within planned urban developments, as well as condo and townhouse owners, may need Property Management Company or Co-op Board approval for certain changes.

3Local and Federal resources referenced here are not the only resources available.

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This article is based on information available in May 2012. It is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting, or other advice and should not be acted or relied upon without the advice of a professional advisor. A professional advisor will recommend action based on your personal circumstances and the most recent information available.