The age old debate, is it better to rent or buy a house? There is no cookie cutter answer as each choice carries pros and cons. The top factors you should consider when deciding on renting vs buying will be covered in this article.
How is your credit:
For some people they have no choice whether to rent or buy. If your credit is low, or you have no credit established, you will likely be forced to rent. Most conventional mortgage loans require at least a 620 credit score to qualify. So if you are just starting to build your credit, or have none, renting will be the answer for you.
What is the demographic, or geographic location the house occupies:
Why does this matter? Well lets say you are thinking of purchasing a home in a small country town. If you choose to buy the house(start making payments) and you decide you want to sell in 5 years to upgrade, you may have a hard time doing so. If you choose to buy a house make sure it is in a good location; preferably a location that will increase in, or retain, the value and demand of the home over time. If you are currently living somewhere(due to job) you are unsure you will stay long-term, renting will offer you the freedom of being able to move at a whim. If you get a deal on a house in Beverly Hills and somehow manage to buy a million dollar house for 250,000 of course that would be nice. You would be able to sell it in a heartbeat for a profit and move on, but not all homeowners are so fortunate.
Do you plan to stay in said house long-term:
This ties into previous section regarding the location of the house. How long do you see yourself occupying a house? If you plan to live there forever, then yes, buying is the proper move. If you are unsure about future obligations or circumstances then perhaps look into renting. People always say “it’s better to buy a house because you don’t waste money and you can sell it when you want to move/upgrade”. This statement is partially true but selling a house is not as easy as you think depending on the circumstance; you may end up taking a loss on the house, or you may end up trying to sell it for 5 years thus hindering your ability to purchase a new house.
Lets hypothetically say you can either rent a house(200,000 dollar house) for 800 a month or purchase it with a 10% downpayment for 700 a month. After two years you would have spent 19,200 if renting, and 16,800(payment) + 20,000(downpayment) if buying. So on one hand you have a 36,800 investment(own) and on the other you have a 19,200(rent) investment. If you choose to move you may be forced to sell the house for 150,000 thus loosing most of your investment. This is why I suggest if you do rent do not rent for more than 2-4 years without transitioning to purchasing a house. If you plan on purchasing a house do not do so unless you foresee yourself being there for at least 5 years.
Rent: Usually no credit required, flexibility to move, no responsibilities as far as maintenance(plumbing, electrical, ect.), more convenient
Buy: Typically can get investment back if you stay in a given house for at least 5 years, builds credit, you own the house(can not be pushed out), saving money in long run(if you stay a while)
Rent: May not build credit if you pay landlord cash, may be subject to landlords terms, will loose money if you rent for extended periods of time
Buy: Subjected to maintenance costs, may loose money and have difficulty selling house if you stay there for short stint of time, contractually obliged, may have bad neighbors and be stuck, location of house may diminish thus lowering value of house
Both renting and buying have their benefits. What experience do you have with renting or buying? Care to share below? Thanks for reading. I am attempting to encourage a more interactive site. Please feel free to comment and I will respond. Please view my other articles, subjects include; preemies, finance, health, news, cars. Thanks y’all!