Buying Versus Renting: Which Is Better For You?


The buying versus renting argument has been going on for quite some time. The truth is, though, one is only better than the other for certain people. It all depends on what you prefer. Check out this basic breakdown of the pros and cons for each buying and renting, and then you can decide for yourself which one is the best for you.

Buying

Buying a home is a huge undertaking. There are many people who never do it throughout their entire lives. It certainly has its perks as well as some pitfalls.


Pros
The home is yours, and you get to do whatever you want with it. That means you can put your own personal touch on the home wherever you’d like. No one will be there to tell you not to paint or change out the flooring.


Another great thing about owning a home is the privacy you get. Even if your own is close to your neighbors, you still get your own bathroom, kitchen, laundry, yard, etc. In fact, the top three goals among all current home buyers are privacy, family needs, and asset accumulation. Owning a home can give you all of that.


Finally, the last biggest argument for home ownership over renting is that you aren’t throwing your money away in rent. Many people say that when you’re paying rent to a landlord, you won’t see any of that money back. When you’re paying money towards your mortgage, though, you will get that back when you sell your house (most likely).


Cons
In terms of monthly bills, sometimes you are paying more at a house that you own compared to an apartment you rent. As a homeowner, you are responsible for property taxes and school taxes. You also have to factor in added maintenance costs like mowing the lawn, appliance repair, and plumbing issues. Those are things a landlord would be responsible for if you rented instead of owned.


While you can technically sell your home whenever you want, you don’t always have the flexibility to leave like you would with an apartment. When your lease is up, you know when you’re supposed to move out. If you have to move for a job, you have to wait for your house to sell before you can pack up shop. That is, unless you want to carry the mortgage after you stop living there.


By the end of 2017, according to the United States Census Bureau, the national homeownership rate was at 64.2%. This just goes to show that many people think that the benefits of owning a home outweigh the negatives. Do you feel the same way?

Renting

Living in someone else's house is the dream for some people. All you have to do is pay rent and go throughout your day. There are also some downfalls to renting, too.


Pros
One of the most attractive benefits of renting a home or an apartment instead of owning is that you don’t have to do any of your own maintenance. If your sink is leaking or the hot water heater breaks, you just call up your landlord and they take care of it for you. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 34% of recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity.


Another advantage to renting over buying is that there is typically a much lower cost up front. When you purchase a home, you have to put a lot of money down, pay closing costs, etc. When you rent an apartment, you typically only have to pay a security deposit and the rent for the first (and sometimes the last) month of your lease.


Finally, renting tends to be much more convenient. It is almost always easier (and cheaper) to rent an apartment downtown somewhere than it is to purchase a home. For younger people who like the downtown lifestyle, the closest coffee shop might be within walking distance, and the commute to work will probably be short.


Cons
The first negative thing people typically mention about renting is that it’s not your own place. Many landlords do not give you the creative control to change things in the apartment. So that means if you hate the color of the bathroom, you have to deal with it the whole time you live there because you probably won’t be able to paint.


Another complaint that people often have about renting is that you have no privacy. As mentioned before, many people buy homes for that reason. You typically have to share many different areas with other renters, including entrances, hallways, laundry facilities, and yards.


Finally, when you rent instead of own, you probably won’t be in that residence for very long. More than 33% of renters move every single year. This means you have to pack everything up and go through the stress of moving every year. Some people like moving to a new place often, but many do not see this as a perk.


According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 36.6% of household heads rented their home instead of owned it. Those people most likely preferred to rent over own, although the study found a mix of reasons why. Some say they’d rather rent, while other say they want to buy a home in the future but aren’t ready yet.

So, which is better, buying or renting? There isn’t one simple answer to that question. It all depends on your specific needs. Just because families traditionally buy houses instead of rent apartments doesn’t mean you can’t rent. And just because typical college students rent apartments doesn’t mean you can’t buy a house. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s better for you because you know you better than anyone else. Live happy, live comfortably, and live for you.

2 comments

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  2. Many seniors are turning to renting, it does give you flexibility and much less responsibility. Of course, you never know when they may want to sell and stop renting out the apartment, so you might have to move again.

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