If you love calculators, you will love this finance calculator that gives you your rent versus buy alternative. Essentially, it tells you if you are ready to buy a home or you should continue to rent. One reason folks buy homes and then get foreclosed on, a few years later, is because they bought before they were ready financially. Understanding the right time to buy is crucial. You should have answers to questions like; Is my job secure? Do I understand that escrow costs are in addition to my down payment, in most cases. Is my down payment big enough to leave me with an affordable payment? Do I understand the type of mortgage I am considering? Do I understand the hidden cost of purchasing and maintaining a home? All of these questions must be answered positively or you may be better off renting for a while.