I have seen many comparison posts online about buying versus renting. But what really are the advantages? Generally, I find that buying offers more benefits than renting does. However, there are times when renting is the better option. Here are a few of the arguments for each. Keep in mind that you will also have individual factors to consider, and this is where working with a competent real estate agent and a competent lender will be of great benefit.
- You are investing your money in home equity for yourself rather than getting no equity out of it.
- You don’t have to worry about rising rent rates.
- You have the freedom to make any changes you want to the extent allowed by law.
- You are not dependent on a landlord for efficiency or quality of repairs and maintenance.
- You have the satisfaction of owning your home and being able to call it your own.
- You can refinance later if interest rates go down, but you can typically have assurance that your interest rate won’t go up.
- You typically do not have to be directly financially responsible for repairs and maintenance for which you are not directly at fault.
- You have a level of flexibility could be more difficult to find when buying. For instance, if you want to live in an area and get to know it for a few months before committing to buying, or if you may need to move in the near future while keeping your financial assets readily available for use, renting could be the best option at the moment. (Though, keep in mind that some leases have stricter terms around timing than others.)
- You don’t have to deal with property taxes and homeowners’ insurance, which can often increase periodically.
In short, if you don’t plan to move very soon, buying is likely your better option. However, renting can be advisable when you need a level of flexibility to move your assets or your address quickly. The local housing market – how long homes for sale stay on market, housing appreciation, market demand, etc. – will also be a factor to consider.