Buy vs Rent: The Ageless Argument

Buying vs renting is an argument that has continued for many years. Whenever you are moving, you either buy a home or you can rent. Each approach has their advantages and disadvantages. In order to understand which decision is best for you, you need to consider all the factors that are involved.

Advantages of Renting

The biggest advantage of renting is flexibility. You can stay in your apartment for the duration of the lease. Once the lease expires, you can either renew your lease or move somewhere else. Another major advantage of renting is accessibility. Apartment buildings tend to be located in the denser parts of town. They are near stores, community centers, medical facilities, public transit, etc. This means that you would be less likely to drive or walk very far. You can save money on parking, tolls and gasoline costs.

Disadvantages of Renting

When you rent, you and your landlord are subject to the terms of the lease. While the lease has lots of benefits for you, it also contains restrictions. It can prevent you from doing things that would be acceptable if you owned your home. For example, throwing parties on a whim, having a group of friends stay over, etc. Also, if you own pets, you may have harder time finding an apartment because many landlords don't allow them.

Another significant disadvantage is the fact that your landlord is responsible for upkeep and repairs of the apartment building. While this saves you money, it also means that you may have to live with a few inconveniences. For example, a leak in the ceiling.  A lease will also prevent you from making any major modifications to your apartment. For example, if you don't like the way the kitchen is set up, you are stuck with it until your lease ends.

Advantages of Buying a Home

The biggest advantage of buying a home is that you own it. As long as you don't violate local, state and federal building codes, you can do whatever you want with your home. Also, there is no lease to break, so you have the security of knowing that you will not be asked to leave. You can sell the house any time you want, pass it on to your relatives or will it to your children. You can even rent out your home to other people and earn extra income.

Disadvantages of Buying a Home

The major disadvantage of buying a home is that you may have trouble getting rid of it. For example, your job may require you to move. You may have to wait for months or years until your home can be sold. While renting it out will give you extra money, it also saddles you with all the responsibilities and expenses of a landlord, something which you may not be equipped to handle.

Another significant disadvantage lies in your mortgage costs. While the mortgage will help you buy a house, it also adds a financial burden that can last anywhere between 15 to 30 years. Every month, you would have to make sure you have enough money to make monthly mortgage payments.

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