You can fulfill the Bangladeshi dream of homeownership by owning an apartment just as you can with a traditional home. Owning instead of renting can also be good for your finances, as you’re building equity in a property you can later sell instead of throwing money away to a landlord. So if you’re interested in purchasing an apartment for you and your family, here’s what you need to know.

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The “Rent vs. Buy” Decision

Perhaps the biggest factor in deciding whether to rent or buy is the length of time you expect to stay in your new apartment. Generally speaking, if you don’t anticipate living there for at least five years, renting is likely to be a financially wiser move.

If you plan to live there for five or more years, compare how much you are paying to rent with how much you could be paying to own. Assuming the place you want to buy is similar to the place you’re renting. That’s because your landlord is paying the same as you would for principal, interest, taxes, homeowners association fees and repairs, plus a little extra for profit.

Still, there’s more to owning than the payment. To buy something, you’ll have to put up more cash than you would need to sign a lease. The biggest outlay will be for the down payment. The amount required for this depends on the type of mortgage you get and potentially even where the home is located.

Figuring Out What You Can Afford

Now it’s time to see how much you can afford to pay. Start by figuring out your debt-to-income ratio. To do this, add up all your monthly debt payments, such as credit cards, car loans, student loans, child support payments, alimony and, lastly, your estimated mortgage payment.