Buy vs. rent: pros and cons

Ginger Dean

February 10, 2013

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and Legal

Deciding to rent or purchase a home should be weighed carefully before making any decision. There are pros and cons to both and ultimately it comes down to which one works best for your situation. There are very good arguments on both sides and taking the time to make the right decision can save you from regrets later on.

Decision to rent: what to consider

Cons

  • If you rent a home, you do not own it. This means that you cannot alter the living space in any way without the permission of the landlord. It also means that if you decide to enhance the space you will never get a return on your investment.
  • You will be responsible for paying the rent each month without the cost ever going down, plus you have nothing to show for all the money spent. Also, you can be forced to move if the owner decides he no longer wants to rent, or sells the property.

Pros

  • If you find a place where the rent is reasonable, you can put away extra money until you are able to afford a place of your own.
  • You are not responsible for any major repairs. If something breaks the owner fixes it.
  • Renting gives you the option of moving. For instance if you get a job transfer you do not have to wait until the house sells; you just give notice to the landlord.

Decision to buy: what to consider when buying

Cons

  • If you do not have enough saved to purchase a home, you may be settling and then get stuck with something less than what you wanted.
  • Every expense comes out of your pocket. Repairs are not cheap and if you have no savings and are not financially stable, you could end up losing your home.
  • If you decide to move out of the area you are trapped until your home sells, or at the very least, have to rent it out and hope that you chose someone who will care for the place as you have.

Pros:

  • If you are not planning on moving a home gives you a place to go at the end of the day that is yours. You can change it around and create your own domain.
  • You own something that can help you with retirement. A home, if cared for, is a great investment for later on in life.
  • Having your own home provides you with privacy.

Deciding to rent or own is a life-changing event. If you are not certain how long you may be in one area, renting is an option which provides the freedom to move more easily. On the other hand, if you have no plans to move in the near future, owning your own home affords you privacy and the ability to create your own space. It all comes down to what really works best for your situation, as there are pros and cons to both.



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