The decision to rent or buy requires financial and emotional choices and depends on your job security, lifestyle and commitment to a neighborhood or location. A preapproval for a loan is an essential first step for potential buyers to understand their price range and the complete cost of owning a home.

Some renters who want to become homeowners worry about high housing prices, the lack of affordable homes and the possibility of rising mortgage rates, all of which may encourage them to put off buying. Graham Pruitt, vice president of mortgage lending for Guaranteed Rate, recommends doing a “cost of waiting” analysis with the help of a lender. Read more here.