Updated: May 28
When you’re looking for a new place to live, one question always comes up: should I rent or buy? Maybe if you’re adventurous, you’ve also thought: should I build? Well, as experts in all areas of that question, we at the BC Team wanted to tackle the pros and cons to each.
While we can’t tell you what’s right for your unique situation, we hope this blog helps point you in the correct direction.
Should You Rent?
Renting is a great option for those who move around a lot or who aren’t ready to buy a home. While you may think it’s a “money pit,” there are actually a ton of useful benefits that come with renting. For example, let’s say you’re really hoping to get that job promotion – but it’s halfway across the country. You don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of selling a home while transitioning to a new position. Or perhaps you’ve moved to a new area and want some time to get to know different neighborhoods before settling down somewhere.
Additionally, rent can be cheaper than buying in many cases because of the upfront costs that come why purchasing a home. This includes a down payment, closing costs, moving costs, any renovations and other home maintenance tasks.
Sure, you can buy a home and then sell it within a few years, but the costs are hardly worth it. To help you determine the costs, use this rent vs. buy calculator. Aside from initial closing and moving costs, you may be paying more closing costs when selling a home in addition to other costs such as repairs and renovations that would make the house sell for top dollar.
Cons of Renting
Renting does come with some cons as well. Or one, you don’t own the property so you gain no equity. You’re also very limited to upgrading or how you maintain the property, and there is no guarantee that you’ll pay the same rent year to year. On top of that, because you don’t own the apartment or home, your landlord could decide to sell the property out from under you, which takes away your sense of stability.
While the last option isn’t a common occurrence, it’s important to keep in mind. You simply don’t have the same level of control with a rental as you would if you owned a home.
Should You Buy A Home?
Buying a home is a big decision — whether it’s your first home or your tenth, you’ll know that it really doesn’t get much easier to find the perfect property. When you’re deciding if you should rent or buy a home, buying is a lot more customizable, but it comes with a price tag. If you see a home in an area you like, but it’s outdated, then you have to ask yourself if you have the money to renovate it in the future.
With renting, you don’t have that option — you just have to live with it until the landlord decides to upgrade it. That’s where housing really triumphs. You can make it your own whenever you are able to.
Buying a home also gives you a sense of stability and long-term investments. It lets you plant your roots and makes you feel like you’re, well, at home!
Is the Cost of Buying a Home A Pro or Con?
Buying a home can either be more expensive, the same, or cheaper than renting, depending on longevity and the options available. If you feel certain you’ll stay in a home for at least 5 years, buying a home could make sense. Look at it this way: if you’re looking to rent for 3 years at $2,000 per month, that equals about $72,000 over the course of three years. That is the same as a 20% down payment for a $350,000 home, plus some. It’s definitely something to consider if you have the spare funds.
Renting and mortgage payments can be comparable too. You can pay less in a mortgage than you can for a monthly rental too, while gaining equity! That said, just because you can afford a mortgage payment doesn’t mean you can afford a home; expenses add up. In addition to a monthly payment that’s more than the principal and interest on your mortgage, you’ll also have property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and mortgage insurance.
But what about the long term? In most areas of the U.S., buying a home is actually cheaper according to a National Association of REALTORS® report that shows homeowners start saving more money than renters after 3 years. This is assuming the rent has a 5% increase each year and the homeowner is paying a fixed monthly payment.
However, it all depends on the down payment and payment options that are presented to you. If you’re not in the right place financially to buy a home, then that is completely alright!
Additionally, your home could both raise or lower in value over time. It’s impossible to know which trend it will follow and can be a gamble when it’s time to sell your home. To help alleviate this, watch the market carefully and know what the true market value of your home is before you buy it. This will help ensure your home isn’t too expensive for the location.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Home
Too long to read? No worries, we broke it all down for you here:
You build equity over time
Home value may increase over time
You may reap tax benefits
Unlimited freedom to customize your living space
Sense of home stability/permanence
Closing costs can be prohibitive
Responsibility for maintenance and repairs which requires time and effort
Less flexibility to move
Home value may decrease
Recent tax laws could hamper tax benefits
Should I Build a Home?
If you have the time to spare, then building a home is a wonderful option as well. It has similar pros and cons to buying a home, so we won’t go too in-depth during the crossover. For example, building a home comes with complete customization without the worry of remodeling for finding hidden problems with the existing home.
The biggest difference between building and buying a home is that building takes a lot more time — years, even. You’ll need to be patient during the entire process and curb your enthusiasm as much as you can until your new home is move-in ready.
It’s a long process, but we’re ready to go over it all with you. Just contact us online or give us a call! We’ll be more than happy to help.