Buying a Home vs Renting: What’s Best for You?

Buying vs renting a home is a big decision, and like with every decision, both options have their pros and cons.

According to a Pew Research Center report, a higher percentage of U.S. households were renting than at any point since 1965 but that doesn’t mean renting is free of disadvantages nor that ownerships doesn’t have its advantages.

1. Pros and Cons of Renting Vs Buying a Home

Buying and renting each have their pros and cons.

Buying

To begin with, buying a house means building your equity. You won’t have a landlord to answer to and you’ll likely be in for possible tax benefits. Perhaps the biggest beauty of buying a house is the freedom you get as you can upgrade it to your taste and make sure you enjoy it along with putting every corner of the place to good use. 

On the other hand, this freedom comes with extensive costs. Besides the money and paperwork needed to buy the house, if it loses in value, so will you in case you decide to sell it. You will also be responsible for its maintenance and repairs that can also be costly.

Renting

Renting requires much less paperwork, it allows you to stay flexible and mobile and you are free of any responsibility concerning repairs. However, your landlord can decide to raise your rent or sell the property at any given moment.

2. Differences of Renting Vs Buying

Renting versus buying a home is more than just a matter of ownership as there are many key differences.

The cost

Besides the cost which is very different, you need to add the cost of maintenance to the cost of buying a house. Repairs and ongoing seasonal maintenance can add up fast for homeowners that have a lot of responsibility for everything that goes wrong. If you have to take out a large mortgage, that means higher monthly outgoings and higher insurance premiums. If you choose to rent, all you have to worry about is the rent and your monthly bills.

Flexibility vs freedom

Buying a house offers you all the flexibility when it comes to design. If you want to make any sort of upgrade to the space you are renting, you need the owner’s approval. The question is why would you want to invest in something that is not yours? On the other hand, if you are renting, you have the flexibility to move anytime whereas a homeowner needs a lot of work and paperwork in order to sell his or her house. With renting, you need to give up control. If you buy a house, you have the freedom do to whatever you want with it, but if you stop liking the neighborhood, you can’t move away that easily.

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3. Moving Tips

Whether you are moving to a house or an apartment you need to plan and prepare for your move. It’s up to you to decide which works best.

Create a checklist

It’s almost too easy to get overwhelmed with so many things you have to do. A well thought of checklist includes a timeline and a budget so you can stay on top of your move as events unfold.

Pack for an hour a day

In order not to bite off more than you can chew, you need to strategize your packing. In order to avoid taking things you won’t need, just do it everyday for a bit so your mind doesn’t drift. You’ll be surprised how much progress you can make with small but consistent efforts.

Give each room a different color

Giving each room a different color label will help you stay organized. Also, make sure you have a moving day box to have everything you need before you get to unpack.

Pack wisely

Don’t leave empty space, get the right size boxes (heavier items go in smaller boxes and lighter in larger ones) and save space by rolling clothing.

Create a game plan.

Having someone to provide general direction and take charge on the moving day will save your nerves and optimize your efforts.

Take care of utilities

Make sure to either move your service or shop for a new electricity provider before your official move date. Unpacking without power will be even more challenging. 

Takeaway

The answer to the rent vs. buy debate isn’t so cut and dried. You need to ask yourself what can you afford, what are your financial and life goals, how long do you plan to stay in the home, and do you want stability or flexibility? While no one has a crystal ball, it’s important to evaluate your current situation and how much your life is likely to change in the near future so you can decide what works best for you.