Deciding where to live is a major life decision. When making the decision on renting or buying a house, consider pros and cons. Renting a place to live can come in a variety of forms including renting a unit within an apartment or townhouse complex, to renting a single family home directly from the owner. Additionally, buying a place to live can come in many forms from owning a townhouse, condominium, house, etcetera. I have had the experience of owning a house and renting a townhouse. Both living arrangements came with pros and cons, and you can consider some of these points when making your decision to rent or buy a house.
Pros to Buying a House
Buying a house has many benefits. Owning your very own home and property is definitely a pro. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, ownership and permanence that renting can never provide. Within limits, you can do what you want with your home and property. You can reconstruct, paint, change the décor, and make updates when and how you want. Basically, it’s yours to do what you want with!
Another pro of buying a house is that you can build equity. Equity is the difference between the value of your home and the amount that you owe on the property. Basically, the more you pay off on your mortgage, the more your equity increases. A portion of your monthly payments will go towards interest, taxes, and insurance. The remainder of your payments will pay off your principle amount on your mortgage, bringing you a step closer to ownership each month.
If you decide to sell your house one day you will likely receive some of that money back that you’ve put into it. If you purchased your home years ago, in today’s seller’s market you will likely be able to sell your house for much more than what you owe or what you initially purchased it for. This money can be put towards a down payment on a new house or put to other use, depending on the situation.
Cons to Buying a House
One of the benefits of buying a house is that you can change and update it to your preference. However, unanticipated maintenance expenses is THE main con to owning a house in my opinion. I speak from experience that daily home life can easily be interrupted with an appliance problem, plumbing issue, or general problem with the structure or foundation of the home. There is nothing more stressful than going about your daily routine and suddenly finding that you need to route your time, attention and money on something that feels like an essential need.
Writing about this topic brings back memories that are funny now, but such a pain at the time. I’ve spent an entire day replacing a garbage disposal with my Dad, have witnessed a toilet with disconnected plumbing flush directly into the basement (yuck!), watched my husband take a dryer apart, come home from work and have to reroute myself to the hardware store for a new garage door opener, and bought something called a “roof rake” among other countless moments. These moments often left me asking why the heck do we all strive for this?
Pros to Renting
Reflecting on challenging moments of homeownership helps remind me that I am currently on a vacation from that responsibility! Renting in a location where you are not responsible for preventative maintenance, appliance failures or landscaping can be extremely helpful. Just this week we received a notice from our townhouse landlord that it was time for preventative maintenance and that they would be around next week to change the furnace filter. We can literally enter a request and have a lightbulb changed if we aren’t able to reach it ourselves, not to mention access to a pool without having to maintain it!
Another perk to renting is that unless your rent increases during a lease renewal, your monthly expenses stay relatively stable. In theory, when you own a home you should have some protection with a homeowner’s inspection and insurance. However, there is always the potential for issues that were not caught or will not be covered by insurance. My experience with renting is that it helps takes some of the surprise issues and decreases the unexpected expenses.
Cons to Renting
Have you heard people say that you are throwing away your money when you rent? What this really means is that you are not building up equity with your monthly rental payments. When you decide to move one day, none of that money will be returned to you aside from possibly your deposit.
Another con to renting that I have experienced is that our neighbors change more often than they did when we owned a home. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I enjoy being friendly with neighbors and having a sense of community. Personally, we are hoping to buy again when the time is right for us. This gives us the added sense that we are living in a temporary location as well.
Making a Decision
Buying a house has pros and cons, and this is not an exhaustive list of all of those factors by all means. There are so many personal reasons why you may make one decision over another, and regardless of what you decide it should be what is best for you!
If you need additional help making your decision, a Realtor® can help provide insight into the home buying process and the pros and cons. We are happy to help and you can find our contact information on our Real Estate page: https://domestictutor.com/real-estate/
What Are Your Thoughts?
We would love to hear what you think about buying a house and the pros and cons that factored into your decision. Leave us a comment and share your experience!