The decision to buy or rent a house is based on the concept of your lifestyle- how you spend your time and money- is an everyday buying decision statement. Your lifestyle is reflective of your desires, needs, and attitude. While you have your personal preferences of what you would like your home to have, contain, or look like- financial factors will modify the final choice. As discussed in (reference other blogs), beginning a budget will help you to determine s budget for your housing expenses.
You might not always be able to tell what the market is doing with real estate, but with a little research and talking with some agents, you might realize that the prices are going to increase over the next few years so you would consider owning your home. You now have the opportunity to:
- Enjoy the pride of ownership. You finally have a place to call “mine.” Your home is a stabilize residence and gives you the comfort of knowing you have made it this far.
- Financial benefits include:
- the real estate tax payments for federal income taxes, as well as the opportunity to use the mortgage interest as a deductibile
- Long term, your home has the opportunity to increase in property value, providing you with more asset value for your personal books at the time of sale
- You now have the opportunity to borrow against the equity (the home value less the amount owed on the mortgage) in your home
- Lifestyle flexibility of home ownership. This home is yours, you get to decorate and entertain guests however you choose. You also have the advantage of personalizing this property to whatever you choose- it is yours!
Buying a house has its advantages, but just like anything it also has its disadvantages. When you have decided to purchase a home, whether it is used or new, you have decided to make a financial commitment. This investment can result in:
- Financial uncertainties which could include:
- Obtaining money for a down payment
- Obtaining mortgage financing due to your personal situation or current economic conditions
- Change in property values in an area
- Limited mobility. If changes in your situation make it necessary to move, this will require you to sell your home and doing so may be difficult. Between high interest costs, sometimes a low demand for housing, among other factors could cause selling your home to be a long process.
- Potential of higher living costs. When you purchase a home, you also take on the responsibilities for maintenance and all costs of repairs and any necessary home improvements. This can increase the value of your home. However, when in dire straights this is 100% your responsibility for the costs.
- Real estate taxes. The higher the property values and higher tax rates mean higher real estate taxes. You won’t always see the tax effect immediately, but it can come back at the end as an “unplanned expense,” for which could potentially be an issue for you or your family.
Renting may be the best option for your situation, for example If you are looking to avoid the time and money commitment required to maintain a house. Or if you are a young person just starting in your career and unsure of where you might decide to establish your career. You are starting right now in your first full time job but you don’t know that you are going to want to stay in this community for another 10 years, so you might choose to rent to “test the waters” of the new job, and the community.
Renting an apartment or home allows for:
- Mobility. If a new job arises, a rent increase occurs, the need for a larger place, or desire to live in a different community you are able to easily relocate yourself within a short period of time and without too much paperwork.
- Fewer responsibilities. Typically, renters do not have to be concerned with maintenance and repairs. However, you are expected to still keep up on minor items like lights, air filters, etc.
- Lower initial costs. New tenants pay a security deposit for a rental unit which typically is only for the amount of one months rent.
Once you have made the decision to rent a home or apartment, Just like owning a home, you have made a decision that will be for some period of time. Renting may impose:
- Restricted lifestyle. Typically, when renting an apartment or home, you are restricted in the types of pets or breed of animals you are allowed to have in the property. Also, you are limited to the house changes you are allowed to make and your entertainment system or parties tend to be closely monitored.
- Few financial benefits. As a renter you don’t qualify for a tax deduction and you are subject to rent increase per the property management team with little control.
- Legal details. Tenants almost always have to sign a lease (legal document the defines the conditions of a rental agreement). Unfortunately, standard lease forms contain conditions that you may not want to accept and the lease is usually not negotiable. (With the right credit score, you MIGHT be able to request an adjustment to the lease.)
With a little more insight I hope that you can make the decision that is best fit for you and your family. For extra help, check out this wonderful online calculator that can help you to calculate your available options.