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In partnership withLower

Your Guide to Ditching Renting & Building Wealth

published Oct 8, 2021

You don’t want to rent for the rest of your life, and now you don’t have to.

We’re partnering with the mortgage experts at to guide you through the whole process — and answer your real questions along the way.

For example, did you know you can own a home for less than 5% down? Or that your monthly payment could be less than what you pay in rent? So, sit back, relax and let the Lower team show you the ins and outs — so you can buy a home and become your best homeowner self, sooner than later.

First thing’s first. Before you think about home shopping, you’ll want to get an overall view of your financial health, and gauge if you’re ready to buy a home now, need to get saving, or have a different step to take. It’s always best to trust a professional with these details — and getting pre-qualified is a great way to get started.

“Before you get saving, you need to know where you are. Getting pre-qualified helps you set your goal, and shows sellers you're serious.”

Sean O., Lower Loan Advisor
NMLS ID: 1287769

Unless you have a stack of cash just sitting in the bank, you’ll likely need to save at least a few dollars for a down payment. If so, you’ll want to download the Lower app and set a savings goal. Just enter the price of the home you’re looking to buy, and when you want to buy. Lower does the math for you — how much you need to save per month to meet your goal.

“So many people don’t realize they don’t need 20% down — in fact, it can be a better decision to put the minimum (3 or 3.5%) down.”

Chelsea W., Lower Loan Advisor
NMLS ID: 1089387

One way to keep motivated when saving is to remember your goal and why you want a home. Plus, when you have the Lower app, Lower will match your home savings up to $500 in HomeCash™! And Apartment Therapy readers get an additional $500 in HomeCash™ when they use code ATHOME500 in the app.

You’ll also rest easy knowing you’re earning 0.75% APY¹, which is 25X² higher than the average savings account. You’ll be buying in no time!

“Remembering your goal and setting regular savings deposits can help you keep your energy up and your savings growing.”

Mallory M., Lower Loan Advisor
NMLS ID: 1581071

To get pre-qualified, just tell your loan advisor a bit about you, how much you make, and any debts you have. And that’s it! Once you move further down the process, all of the information will be checked and verified.

Until then, getting pre-qualified is great for seeing what you can afford, it looks great to sellers, and your real estate agent will also appreciate the guidelines it provides.

“If you started home shopping before getting pre-qualified, what are you waiting for? You never know when the perfect home may pop up!”

Miguel M., Lower Loan Advisor
NMLS ID: 1846899

Now, you’re “in contract,” which is a fancy way of saying you’re almost there, but the deal hasn’t closed yet. Keep it steady. There’s a lot changing right now. It can be tempting to make big purchases for your home (new couch, anyone?), but try to leave them until after your loan closes. If anything comes up, reach out to your loan advisor so there aren’t any surprises.

“An open line of communication with your loan advisor will help your closing go smoothly. It’s not a great time to make a big purchase like furniture or a car, but if you need to, just be sure to speak with your loan team first!”

Jared D., Lower Loan Advisor
NMLS ID: 1692270

Lower, LLC | NMLS ID 1124061 | | Equal Housing Lender | 8131 Smith’s Mill Rd., New Albany, OH 43054 | Licensing

Lower Account is provided through Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC. Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of May 01, 2021, and subject to change after account opening. We use encryption and secure processes to help ensure your money is safe. See footnotes below for more details.

¹ Interest Rate Information – The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the HomeFund is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of May 01, 2021. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 or greater in savings to earn interest. Interest is calculated and deposited on a monthly basis.

² Based on National Deposit Rate of 0.03% for Interest Checking according to the FDIC, last updated August 16, 2021.