We all need a place that we can call home, a place where we can relax and put our feet up after a long day of work, where we sleep in on the weekends, where we can keep all our most cherished belongings, and where we could spend time with friends and family.
That said, it’s hard to know the best way to go about finding such a place. Virtually everyone has asked themselves the same question at some point: “Should I rent or buy a house?” Only you can decide which one is right for you, but to help you decide, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each…
PROS: The first and most obvious advantage renting has over buying is that it’s a lot more affordable. While a landlord may require you to provide a safety deposit or pay the first month or two of rent in advance, that’s still a lot less than you’d need for a mortgage down payment. What’s more, rent is often cheaper than loan payments.
Add to that the fact that you don’t have to pay property taxes and that maintenance and repairs are your landlord’s responsibilities, not yours, and that adds up to a lot of money saved. It’s also a lot easier to move when renting, even if you’ve signed a lease.
CONS: Unfortunately, the benefits of renting aren’t without their own drawbacks. The biggest one is what you give up when you agree to rent a property: control.
Renting a home means that someone else owns the place you live. They can make their own rules and you must abide by them. This can include such things as vetoing remodels, banning pets, and limiting overnight visitors. Landlords can also raise your rent or even sell the property, leaving you homeless with relatively little warning.
PROS: The best thing about buying a home is arguably the peace of mind and sense of freedom it provides. When you own property, you can rest assured that, when times are tough, you at least have that to fall back on.
You can also do just about anything you like with it: you can renovate and build additions, use your land for gardening or farming, start your own at-home business, or even rent out rooms. Owned properties can accumulate value over time, meaning that you can potentially put your home on the market later and make a tidy profit in the process.
CONS: Homeownership might seem like a dream come true, and for many people it is. But it’s a dream that comes with a lot of responsibility. Before you actually own your home, you’ll have to pay it off, which is an expensive prospect. Not only are you paying for the cost of the property itself but also whatever interest your mortgage builds up over time.
Home loans can take a long time to pay off, sometimes even multiple decades. Additionally, you’ll have to worry about property taxes, utility bills, maintenance costs, and more. If you want to buy a home, you have to be in it for the long haul.