Now that I’ve been in my house over half a year (it’s CRAZY how fast time is going!) I figure I have a good handle on what home ownership is like. I’ve experienced a lot of good days, but also days where things go wrong (oh, the joys of home ownership). But ultimately, I think it was a pretty great decision! Are you torn between renting and buying? Let’s evaluate the differences between the options!
Benefits of Renting
- “Free” Maintenance On-Call: To me, this is the #1 perk of renting. If something goes wrong, you can call maintenance and they’ll take care of it. Things like pesky chirping smoke detectors, plumbing issues, broken dishwashers, and AC repairs are totally covered in your monthly rent payments.
- Community Facilities: A lot of rentals (especially if you’re in an apartment complex) offer community facilities you can take advantage of like a dog park, gym, and pool.
- Less Up-Front Costs: When renting, you might have to hand over first and last month’s rent + a security deposit – and sometimes nothing!
Cons of Renting
- “Throwing” Money Away: This is a phrase I hear often when it comes to renting. You’re “throwing” your money away because you’re paying each month, but “have nothing to show for it” because you don’t own.
- Harder to Personalize: Sure you can put decor up, but when renting, it’s harder to do the things you really want to personalize your space and make it your own. Things like painting, hanging things up (holes in the walls), or any kind of remodeling are usually no-nos when renting. And if you do get a yes, it’s typically with the stipulation that when you move out things need to go back to looking exactly like they did when you first move in!
Benefits of Buying/Owning
- Freedom to Make Changes: By this I mean you can tear down walls, paint, remodel, etc. and it’s totally fine. Because it’s your place! It’s SO refreshing to not have to worry about nails in the walls, paint, or any other modifications because its yours!
- Equity to Your Name: This is one of the biggest reasons most people I’ve talked to decided to buy their home. By owning, you have equity (value of the home minus what you still owe on it) to your name. Plus, it’s a great investment! And again, it’s yours!
- Fixed Monthly Payments: When you own a house, your mortgage payment is the same for the term of your loan each month (unless you refinance). While the same can be said during a 12-month period for an apartment, the monthly rent is typically raised with each lease renewal.
Cons of Buying/Owning
- No Built-in Maintenance: This is the biggest downside of owning! There’s no built-in maintenance as with renting. So anything that goes wrong (and believe me, things do!) has to come out of your wallet.
- More Up-Front Costs: To buy a home you need significantly more money upfront. Not only do you need a hefty amount for a down payment, but you also need to pay for things like closing costs, property taxes, the home inspection, and HOA/CDD fees. It adds up quickly!
Renting vs. Owning – Which One’s Better?
I feel like this debate could go on forever. But honesty, there’s no right answer. It all depends on your lifestyle and what works best for you! As you can see, there are absolutely pros and cons to both renting and buying.
Do you own or rent? Which do you prefer?