The following #AskPB listener question has been lightly edited to maintain anonymity.

I’m trying to buy a house so I called a lender to just pull my credit and tell me what they think. One credit report is significantly lower than the other two. My score currently with one is 491. But the other two is 550. I’m trying to get my credit better anyways. I have three credit cards that I’ve used all the credit on and I’ve been late on a car note a few times. Do you think right now isn’t my time to buy a house. Should I give myself a year to get my credit in order?

Related:

Should I Invest in My First Home or Raise My Credit Score First?

Dustin Heiner, Master Passive Income business owner, joins us to help answer this week’s listener AskPB question. Dustin is a, podcaster, author, real-estate investing coach and a wildly successful real estate investor. Dustin and his family live off of the passive income generated by his properties while they travel the world. Hear more on how he self-taught himself to live on low-risk real estate investments here.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing to Rent or Buy

Kirk Chisolm, a Wealth Manager at Innovative Advisory Group and an independent Registered Investment Advisor, joined us on the podcast to talk about renting vs buying: PB48: Renting vs. Buying with Kirk Chisholm. Kirk believes there are three key areas that people fail to focus on when making this important, and potentially costly, decision.

  • Should you rent or buy a home? – There is a great illusion when it comes to real estate. This illusion is that owning your home is an investment.
  • What is the true cost of homeownership? – This week’s post will be focused more on the financial considerations of renting vs buying a home. More specifically, what is the true cost of owning a home? If you have never correctly run these numbers before, the data may surprise you.
  • What you don’t know about renting vs buying can cost you – If you rent a home, it is an expense. When you buy a home, it is an expense. If you buy a home and rent it out to a third party, it becomes an investment. A better way to explain it is, when you are renting, you rent from a landlord. When you buy a home to live in, you are renting from yourself.

The Best Rent versus Buy Calculators

Here are our favorite tools for deciding when it’s smarter to rent or buy in your city. You can read our full post on this topic here.

  • Smart Asset: Rent vs. Buy Calculator “Determining whether to buy or rent your home involves a complex decision-making process. The SmartAsset rent vs. buy calculator helps you see when you’ll reach your break-even point and integrates some of the following questions to help you make an informed choice:
    • How long do you plan on staying in an area?
      • The most important factor to consider when making this buy or rent decision is how long you plan to stay in your home. If you’ll only be in town a year, renting will almost always be your best choice
    • How much flexibility do you enjoy?
    • Are you prepared for the responsibility of homeownership?”
  • The New York Times: Is It Better to Rent or Buy? – “The choice between buying a home and renting one is among the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. But the costs of buying are more varied and complicated than for renting, making it hard to tell which is a better deal. To help you answer this question, our calculator takes the most important costs associated with buying a house and computes the equivalent monthly rent.”

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