Home Buyer’s Basics

Understand the basics of home affordability before you start your hunt.

Decide If the Time is Right      Renting vs. Buying     Weigh the Costs & Benefits   
Before You Buy    Calculate Affordability    Getting Pre-Approved      Finding the Right Home      Closing the Sale

For most of us, buying a first home is a dream come true. However, it can also be a lengthy process where potential — and sometimes very costly — pitfalls trap the unprepared buyer. This guide will help prepare you.

Decide If the Time Is Right

How do you know if you’re ready? Making the leap from renter to homeowner is a big decision

For some, renting may be the right choice.  Because the “down payment” is most often limited to first and last month deposit, renting can be viewed as cheaper and more flexible in the short-term. Monthly rent payments are also generally “all in” and usually cover all property taxes, homeowners’ association fees and maintenance costs. Plus, renting can offer flexibility should circumstances unexpectedly change.

For others, however, buying is the right move to make. They’ve reached the point where they feel confident about staying in one place for a while and are established in their jobs with a dependable income. Their debt obligations – such as car loans, student loans and credit card payments – are manageable, and they’re interested in exploring how the traditional benefits of homeownership, like favorable tax treatment* and equity appreciation, can enhance their long term financial prospects.

If that sounds like you, this guide will help you assess your current situation and better prepare you for the home-buying process.

Let's Talk

Discuss your preferences, learn more about your loan options, and see if you are pre-qualified.

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Want a more complete picture of your home lending loan?

Explore the Understanding Home Lending Center to learn the mortgage process, find the right loan or line of credit for you, and explore options to lower your payments. 

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Renting vs. Buying

Better understand your home buying options. Input the costs of renting and the cost of buying to compare the savings.


Home Affordability

Use our home lending calculators to better understand your home buying options.

Important Legal Disclosures & Information

  1. Pre-approvals are subject to property underwriting and appraisal. Borrower must satisfy pre-approval conditions outlined in commitment letter. Loan amount subject to property appraisal.

PNC, PNC HomeHQ, PNC Home Insight®, Home Insight® and PNC AgentView® are registered service marks of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ("PNC"). PNC has pending patent applications directed at various features and functions of Home Insight Tracker, Home Insight Planner, and PNC AgentView. All loans are provided by PNC Bank, National Association, a subsidiary of PNC, and are subject to credit approval and property appraisal.

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