Buying or renting is a big decision. When considering if the time is right to buy, there are a few factors that most people weigh to help make their decision. Buying a home isn’t a decision made lightly. It’s a major event that often requires years in preparation. As with many decisions, time and money are the two biggest factors.
For most, the budget is the biggest piece of the puzzle when deciding whether to rent or to buy. First, most of the time, buyers need to have saved a considerable amount for a down payment. Depending on the situation, sometimes this is not as big of a deal; first-time home buyers and military servicemen and women, for example, can take advantage of government programs used to help these buyers make smaller down payments to complete their purchases.
Can You Afford It?
Once getting past the down payment, potential homebuyers need to analyze their budgets. Will their mortgage payment be affordable? Most people try to follow the guidance that your mortgage payment should not exceed 25% of your monthly take home pay. This, coupled with laying out all of the other debt payments a buyer has—student loans, car loans, personal loans, credit card debt, etc.—will help determine whether or not a mortgage payment is affordable. There are other monthly costs aside from debt payments, so be sure you can still afford your groceries when looking at your budget!
Deposits and Payments
Renting, in contrast, has no down payment. Typically, a renter will need to be able to put down a security deposit and the first and last month’s rent payments, but this is nowhere near what a down payment could look like. That being said, renters should follow the same guidance regarding their monthly housing budget, being careful not to become cash strapped when rent and other debt payments are due. One advantage of mortgage payments versus rent payments is that the interest on mortgage payments is tax deductible, and rent payments are just that—payments.
Money for Emergencies
When looking at the overall costs of renting versus home buying, don’t forget that homeowners must provide all funds for renovation, landscaping, and any emergency repairs that arise. If the furnace dies and the warranty is expired, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility. Renters, in contrast, can call their landlord to take care of a broken furnace.
In addition to the monetary considerations, potential homebuyers and renters should think about the time that goes in to home ownership. As mentioned above, homeowners are responsible for maintenance, lawn care, landscaping, any repairs, and any updates or renovations they’d like to do. Renters will spend considerably less time on these things, and many times the landscaping, lawn care, and repairs are not their responsibility—the landlord will take care of it.
How Long Will You Be There?
Another major consideration is the length of time the person plans on staying in that location. If he or she knows a move out of town will happen in the next year, it’s probably not a smart investment to purchase a house. Renting would make a lot more sense in that situation because there won’t be a down payment, and it’s much easier to get out of a lease or move in conjunction with a lease ending than it is to sell a house. While homeowners are always building equity, which is a plus, if the home is not a long-term investment, it may be a better move to rent.
Overall, buying or renting is a big decision. Your budget, the length of time they will stay in that home, and their preferences on maintenance and care, will all be determining factors.
If you are a potential renter, contact Deca Realty today to view our available spaces!