Buy or Rent?

To Buy or to Rent…that is the Question!

By SaleCore - BHHS PenFed Realty

It has been said that being a homeowner is the key to happiness and a big part of the American dream. In addition to being a fulfilling milestone that offers a sense of pride and accomplishment, there are several benefits to buying a home. However, choosing whether to buy or rent a home is a major decision that affects not only your lifestyle, but your financial health as well. Choosing the option that is best for you isn't just about money, it is also about comfort and your vision for your life. Following are some of the major reasons why buying a home may be a better choice than renting.

Close up of hands of family members holding a model house

A Sense of Stability & Security

For many, buying a home has a great deal of worth because it gives a sense of stability that renting just doesn’t provide. Buying a home provides your family a place to call their own, and the opportunity to settle in and finally put down roots in a community. Not only do homeowners gain a sense of stability when they settle into a home, but they also contribute to neighborhood stability. Homeowners are more invested in their properties, and thus, their neighborhood, which makes for a more stable and close-knit community.

In addition, being a homeowner means that you'll never have to move due to factors outside of your control, such as eviction, so there is much more security. Unless the bank forecloses on your house, your home is yours until you decide to sell it. As someone who rents a home, it is possible for a landlord to evict a tenant, even if the tenant didn't do anything wrong. They own the property and may choose to sell it at any time.

A Sense of Peace & Privacy

Many homeowners will also agree that there is a sense of peace and privacy that comes from owning a home. Aside from the possibility of sharing walls and having noisy neighbors, renters also have to deal with meddling landlords who have access to their private space at virtually any time. The peace and privacy that homeownership can offer is priceless.

Concept photo of watering a jar with coins next to a model house

A Long-Term Investment

Homeownership is a profitable long-term investment and a method of forced savings. When you buy a home with a 30-year mortgage and make monthly payments, a portion of that payment pays your loan down, giving you more equity in the home. Real estate appreciates over time and no other asset can build your wealth more consistently. On the flipside, as a tenant paying rent each month, you are essentially financing your landlord’s asset and building his/her wealth. So while a home is a major purchase and can be more expensive upfront, if you consider the fees that come with renting, buying and owning a home will ultimately be more inexpensive. A home is a valuable asset, and worth far more than simply just having a place to live.

A close up of a financial document with Tax Decuctible on a post it note on top

Tax Deductions

Owning a home is not only a long-term investment, but you can also benefit from short-term savings with annual, tax write-offs and mortgage interest payment deductions. Every penny of interest you pay on your mortgage each year is 100% tax-deductible, making it one of the best real estate tax deductions available. These deductions can often amount to significant savings, and are of course not available to renters.

Established Monthly Payments

When you own a home and have a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll always pay the same amount each month, each year. However, that is not the case when you rent. The cost of rent has increased at a very fast rate throughout the country, and the trend is only expected to continue. The high cost of rent means that paying a monthly mortgage is often comparable to or even cheaper than renting a home.

Low Interest Rates and Down Payments

The debate for buying in lieu of renting only gets stronger with the low-interest rates that are currently available. Interest rates are competitively low, so now is a great time to purchase a home. What may seem like a slight difference in your mortgage rate can make a huge difference in your monthly payment. Locking into a low 30-year mortgage rate today could save you hundreds of dollars each month for decades to come. When comparing the benefits of owning vs. renting, you will find that many of the current rental rates are higher than a mortgage payment. In addition, there are loan programs and government assistance programs that can get qualified home buyers into a home with a zero dollar down payment, keeping in mind that does not necessarily include closing costs. Programs vary by lender and borrowers must meet certain requirements. Yet, if you're looking to buy a home with no down payment, look at a VA loan (for veterans, active duty military, military spouses) or a USDA loan.

A happy couple sitting on the floor taking a break from painting

Make it Your Own

As a renter, you're living in someone else's home and are therefore subject to their rules. Generally speaking, renters are usually not allowed to paint or make even more extensive changes. Some landlords may approve really nice upgrades, such as installing hardwood floors but more than likely, you will pay for the costs of the upgrade and won’t ever see that money back.

If you purchase your own home, you have the freedom and full control to do what you wish without having to worry about extra fees, lease contracts, terms, and other costs associated with renting. You can do anything you want to a property that you own as long as there are no restrictive covenants in the deed prohibiting the changes or any Home Owner Association (HOA) restrictions. You can add on rooms, change the flooring, paint, redecorate, remodel the kitchen, or anything else you so desire. Make sure you receive the proper building and inspection permits for any remodeling that might require them. The flexibility that purchasing your own home provides is a seriously appealing aspect to many and a great reason to buy.

A piggy bank next to a stack of cash with extra income written on it

Extra Income Opportunity

Unlike renters, homeowners also have the opportunity to earn extra income by renting out their home, or even just a portion of it. Perhaps you decide to bring in a long-term tenant to rent out your basement, or you look at short-term tenants via renting a room on Airbnb. Everything is completely up to you…how much you charge, how often you have someone renting from you, etc. Again, where owning a home is a long-term commitment, it can prove to be an extremely valuable asset for your future.

With all of the benefits of owning a home, you owe it to yourself to find out whether owning vs. renting is best for you. See why it may be the best financial decision you can make, and learn some key tips on how you can get there affordably. Taking the simple step of speaking to a qualified mortgage lender may be the smartest financial situation you make, as it can allow your family to make monthly home payments toward your own asset, instead of increasing your landlord’s wealth.

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