Buying for years has been considered to have many more pros than cons over renting. Although there are still cons to owning, such as being responsible for repairs, the advantages over renting have been considerable in the past. The shift in the economy has made many today question this whether this is still indeed viable. .
Let's first consider the pros and cons of renting.
Firstly at some point in a person's life, renting has its advantages; most specifically for a young adult. As previously noted, renting requires no responsibility with repairs, maintenance, or other time consuming and oftentimes costly aspects.
Also, depending on where you rent, there may be certain recreational facilities such as a pool, fitness room, tennis court, security, and laundry room. A laundry room can save a bundle on an initial purchase of a washer and dryer.
Another advantage to renting is the short term of a lease. This allows a person more flexibility to move again if you are in a less stable position in your life. Such things as job changes and family changes like marriage or children, will allow you the mobility to leave when your lease is up; typically 6 months to a year, or to even cut your lease short.
Selling a home can takes months and even years. In today's economy, it is taking on average, much longer to sell a home. A final advantage to renting is the minimal initial investment. Typically you'll need to come up with a security deposit and sometimes the first and last month's rent. The average down payment on a house is 10-20%.
Now let's look at some disadvantages of renting. One major disadvantage is lack of control. Rent can rise, there may be restrictions on pets and children, and there's not much flexibility on any type of redecorating or remodeling. There are also no tax benefits to renting even though you assist the owner in paying their taxes. The owner also enjoys equity building of the property without an increase in mortgage while you are helping him build that equity by essentially paying off his mortgage in the process. Also, you run the risk of increased rent.
Now let's consider some advantages of ownership. First, there is a sense of pride that goes along with ownership. You are afforded the freedom to create your own sanctuary. You are free to decorate to your liking, remodel as you wish, do your own landscaping in some cases, and enjoy a sense of security that someday you might own your home. These are all simply control aspects. However, one of the biggest advantages is in the financial arena. You'll enjoy tax benefits and write offs, as well as building equity. Generally most homes increase in value with time. Therefore, while your mortgage remains the same, unlike rent, the value of your home is increasing, which means you can actually make money on your home if you decide to sell it. There is never a guarantee of this, however, and it's just like any investment.
Be prepared to compare what is best for you. There is no right or wrong answer. The best decision may depend on where you are at in your life.
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