Rent vs. own is a conversation that spans generations and income levels. Both choices affect your current and future finances, but there are many other factors to consider as well. Let's break it all down.
Renting: Pros, Cons, and Everything In Between.
It doesn't matter if it's an apartment, condo, townhome, or single/multi-family house, renting means you pay a landlord or property management company a set amount each month over the term of a lease to live in the home. It may seem annoying, but thoroughly reviewing your lease before signing could save you headaches down the road
Qualifying to rent is usually easier than buying a home
You pay a set amount each month, and your rent may cover some utilities
You're able to move relatively easy and often at the end of each lease
The landlord is responsible for the property—you don't have to pay for maintenance/repairs
You don't earn the equity and get the tax write-offs for the home
The amount you pay each month can increase when you renew your lease due to inflation, demand, or other costs
If the new rent amount is too high, you could have to move to stay within your budget
In unique situations, if your landlord sells the property before your lease ends, you may have to find somewhere new to live faster than expected
The Ins and Outs of Owning a Home.
To own a home, you find the financing to pay for it and go through a process to become its owner. Most people invest some of their money with a down payment on the house, and take out a mortgage for the rest. Owning is a financial investment, and usually spans a longer period of time then renting.
Owning a home is an investment that usually appreciates, and could be worth more money when you're ready to sell
Owning means you're building equity toward your personal wealth
You could qualify for tax write-offs like mortgage interest and real estate taxes
You're more flexible to renovate the property because you own it
Qualifying for financing is a multi-step process
You're responsible for all costs including real estate taxes, homeowner's insurance, maintenance, and repairs
If you have to sell after only a few years or during an industry downtime, it could be costly
Some communities have homeowner's associations that require monthly, quarterly, or annual fees (but they may cover outside landscaping and/or access to a pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, etc.)
Let's talk money.
Rent: Most landlords/property management companies require a security deposit based off your creditThey may also require an application and/or administrative fee. If you have any pets, you may have to make a larger deposit up front or a monthly fee could be attached to your rent.
Own: You'll most likely need a down payment and depending on the type of financing, it usually ranges from 0-5% (FYI: There are also closing costs around 2-5% of the loan amount.)
Maintenance & Repairs
Rent: Landlords/property management companies handle repairs and maintenance.
Own: General rule of thumb is to save 1-3% of your home's total value for ongoing maintenance and repairs.
Rent: Covering utilities in the rent is entirely up to the landlord/management company. Some will cover a few utilities, but not all (e.g., electricity/gas, water, sewer, internet, cable, etc.), so planning ahead is key.
Own: If you own your home, you're entirely responsible for utility costs.
Rent: Taxes are fixed into the monthly rent, so if they increase in the area, your rent could increase when your lease is up.
Own: While they vary by location, on average you'll pay roughly 1% of the home's value in property taxes.
Rent: To cover your personal belongings and any liability, renter's insurance is often required and much less than homeowner's insurance.
Own: If you own a home and have a mortgage, you must have homeowner's insurance. Cost varies by location, house type, and size.
Maybe It's Time To Buy?
Ask yourself the following questions:
Am I ready to settle down and live in one place for at least a few years?
Do I have the money for a down payment?
Do I have the credit to qualify for financing?
Do I have stable employment to afford a mortgage?
Can I afford/save for additional expenses for maintenance and repairs?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you might be ready to own a home. We're here to help! Reach out to a loan officer today to learn more.