Poor Tony Romo. Once the unchallenged leader of the Dallas Cowboys, he remained on the bench last season and lost his starting job to a rookie. It’s not entirely Tony Romo’s fault as his benching initially came as a result of injuries as well as the stellar play of the new rookie QB.

Tony is getting up in years and while there are rumors there are trades in the mix at some point Tony Romo, like other NFL stars getting up in years need to think about not playing any longer. Maybe it’s time to stop. And if you’re a renter and have been for some time, maybe you too need to take a serious look at buying and not renting. When do you know it’s time to stop renting?

It’s fair to say you won’t wake up one day and think to yourself, “I’m going to stop renting and go buy a place of my own.” No, instead it’s a gradual process. There can be various hints and nudges that eventually move you to the decision to buy.

For example, a coworker is excited she’s moving into her very first home. You wonder how she could afford to buy her own place because you know you make more than she but yet here you are. You’re a renter and she’s a homeowner. If she can buy a home, then why can’t you?

It’s also a good time to think about renting when your landlord sends you an email and lets you know, again, your rent will be going up for the next year. It’s no secret that rental rates in various parts of the country and especially in California are still on the rise while property values are following suit. And speaking of property values, the longer you wait, the higher your rent will be and the more it will cost to get into a home.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to pick up the phone and speak with a loan officer who can walk you through the process of buying your first home. You can find out how much your monthly payments will be and you can compare that to what your payment is now. In addition, you’ll know how much money you will need when you go to the closing table.

You will be a homeowner someday. Is that time now, or later?