It is not always a simple choice deciding to pay rent or take out a mortgage. If you are a renter and your lease is about to expire, you may find yourself considering whether you should renew your lease or purchase a home. With increasing rent costs, now could be the right time for you to purchase a home. Here are a few factors to consider when you are thinking about making the move to homeownership:


To make sure you are making the right financial decision for yourself you must be realistic about your budget. In addition to the base monthly cost of your home, your principle and interest payment, there are additional expenses to consider-

  • Taxes and insurance, also referred to as an escrow account. In most cases these will be paid monthly as part of your monthly mortgage payment. These expenses can vary depending on the area in which you are looking to buy, as well as the size and age of the home. When considering your monthly budget for a mortgage payment, these expenses will need to be included.
  • Utilities. These expenses can include electricity, gas, water, internet, and cable. As a renter these expenses may be included in your monthly rent, so you will want to do your research when buying, as these expenses will add to the total monthly cost of owning a home.
  • Maintenance and repairs. This may include replacing appliances, painting, maintaining lawn care, etc. These expenses are the responsibility of the homeowner and should be considered when looking at your monthly budget.


When deciding if you are financially prepared to purchase a home, it is important to consider the upfront costs associated with the homebuying process. The good news is that there are first time homebuyer programs and lender/seller credit options that can assist you with the out-of-pocket expenses! Regardless of where the funds are coming from to purchase a home, here are some expenses you can expect:


  • Down Payment. VA and USDA loans have 0% down payment requirements. Other loan programs may require 3-5% of the purchase price as a down payment.
  • Closing Costs. You can expect to spend 2-5% of the purchase price on closing costs. These costs can include lender fees, appraisal, inspection costs, title company fees, prorated property taxes, first year insurance premiums, real estate attorney fees, and survey costs.

As your lease comes closer to the expiration date, the decision to find a new rental, renew your current lease, or purchase a home can feel overwhelming. Asking for advice from an ACU of Texas Mortgage Loan Officer is always free, so exploring your home buying options before making a final decision is worth the call!

Unsure which path is right for you? Check out our mortgage loan calculator or attend one of our First Time Homebuyer Courses to help you through the decision and get you on the road to homeownership.