Returning to home ownership: Is it for you?

Home ownership after foreclosure is a big decision and may not be for everyone.

Returning to homeownership after foreclosure is a personal decision. Understanding what is best for your family is essential in determining your goals for your housing situation. Depending on your family’s current financial situation and your stage of life, you may be attracted to one particular option. Take the time to determine the best option for you and your family.

Michigan State University Extension has a new online toolkit – Starting over after foreclosure – that has additional information on re-establishing credit and assets after foreclosure. In the section “Should I return to home ownership?”, there is a table on the advantages of renting vs. buying that will help you think through on this major decision.

Once you decide that home ownership is for you, it is important to review your financial records, including your credit report. Make sure that you are aware of the financial challenges that exist, and repair any credit that may negatively influence the home-buying process. To assist you review the unit rebuilding your financial situation and credit history for more information.

Next, understanding how much new debt your family can take on. This is an essential process in purchasing a new home. Reviewing the unit, assessing your financial situation, can help you understand the appropriate level of debt for your present financial state. 

Often homeowners who have gone through foreclosure are in a different financial situation and may now be eligible for first time homebuyer (someone who has not owned a home in over three years) and down payment assistance programs. Federal and state resources may be available to assist you in your new housing purchase needs. Local housing counseling agencies may be aware of federal and state funding opportunities. They also may offer free pre-purchase education courses to assist you in the home-buying process. Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling website to find your local housing counseling agency. 

Michigan State University Extension offers a number of educational programs including programs on financial management and housing education. Visit MIMoneyHealth.org where there are a number of educational materials and resources available for free.

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