Buying vs. Renting

Buying vs. RentingRenting can be a bit of a drag. Your home is not your own, your landlord smells funny, and you are not allowed to hang up pictures. If this sounds familiar to your situation, then maybe it’s time to look into buying your own place. There are many reasons to look into buying- from decorating to stability and many things in between. Owning may be the perfect solution for your needs.

The experience of renting can be a bit of a gamble because the landlord or apartment complex is in charge of setting the rent price. There is not a guarantee from contract period to the next that your rent will stay the same. Often, apartment managers raise rent prices and either give written notice or have raised rent prices so that signing another contract will make it more expensive for you to stay. Occasionally, landlords can give notice that they need the apartment vacated, leaving you as the renter in a dash to find a new place of residence. If you find yourself in this situation or in a situation where you need to relocate to another apartment in the same area, there is often the requirement of a deposit that is often only partially refundable and based upon overall look and cleanliness of the apartment or home being rented after move out. Home-owning can make a huge difference because in many areas, a mortgage payment will cost less monthly than renting. Depending on the area, you may be able to buy a house that will give you more space and rooms than you’d be able to find in a rental property as well.

One of the largest draws to buying a house is the ability to do what you want, when you want. There’s no need to text your landlord to check if you can paint a room- the world is your oyster with regards to decorating! In addition, many renters spend a lot of money when they move from one apartment to the next because they need to buy new furniture, shelves, and organizational storage bins that fit in their exact space. Not all apartments are created equal, so this can rack up quite a balance. Owning your home takes away the need to purchase new furniture as frequently and that can save money in the long run.

Many people who own a house purchase places slightly larger than they would need at the time- this sets up a cool avenue of renting out the basement or a spare room. Becoming the landlord for someone else allows that empty space to be filled, and can help to pay the mortgage every month or can go toward other things such as repairs and remodeling. This is an option that is not infrequently done, though keep in mind if this is the route you want to go, it’s important to make sure the renter is a good fit for you and will respect the space.

Home owning brings other perks with it. There’s a sense of stability and control over the environment that is unlike any other feeling in the world. If you find a home with a yard, pets are a cool option that many apartment complexes will not allow. If Fido is your dream, owning a home may be a good step for you to take toward bring a dog, cat, or farm animal into your fold. Another cool opportunity is the chance to make your home your own by upgrading and updating appliances and interior (or exterior) spaces.

In your own home, you would have more control over your living situation. Being able to move freely, make changes, decorate, and so on, is a not often afforded to renters. There’s also less of a worry about being noisy and bothering neighbors, or having noisy neighbors to bother you if you live in your own place. This is a common complaint about apartment life, but in a home that you own, there’s no worrying about neighbors stomping upstairs or blasting music right next to an adjacent wall. You don’t have to check with someone if you want to take out a wall or build a bookshelf into a wall- the space is yours to do what you like! If you decide to renovate your kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom and install energy efficient appliances, tax deductions may be available. These can cover up to thirty percent of the total cost of these energy efficient appliances, so in addition to saving on utilities, you are getting deductions that help you make those changes.

Fixed mortgages help in that sense of stability that comes with owning your own home. Since they are fixed, you can rest assured that you will always be paying the same amount. As mentioned earlier, this can be a major cause of anxiety in a rental situation because rental prices could change on a dime and leave you, as a renter, feeling tighter for money and less secure in your home. Also mentioned earlier is the potential monthly savings that could come from owning instead of renting. Some areas make renting for less than buying, so it’s a good idea to see if this is the case where you live. Another thing to keep in mind is that every monthly payment you make toward your mortgage goes toward you owning your home. Renters don’t get that same satisfaction- in fact, renters’ money goes toward the landlord and there’s not much to show for it. In addition to helping pay for your home, you have the potential to earn equity on your home through your payments. This is helpful if you ever decide to move because the money you earn in equity can be the perfect nest egg to put toward your new home.

A few helpful tips from first time homeowners include making sure you have a bit of extra money stashed away for fixing problems. Sometimes things break or leak and it’s important to remember that there is no landlord to contact the repairman and pay for the repairs. This can be a plus because you can schedule appointments for when is most convenient for you, but making sure you are financially stable enough to take care of things is a good idea.

In general, becoming a homeowner is quite a unique experience. Research and looking at the pros and cons can help you make that step. When you are ready to buy a home, you will be so happy with the freedom it lends.

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