First Time Home Buyers: Buying vs. Renting

The state of the real estate market is leaning in favor of buyers, many people are now in the position of deciding whether or not they should become first time home buyers. Although owning your own home can be a richly rewarding experience – providing a sense of accomplishment, the ability to decorate the interior in any color pattern you choose, and helping you get one step closer to realizing your American dream, there is a level of commitment associated with the process that may make renting more enticing.

Buying a home is an expensive proposition.  Property taxes, association fees, and insurance are all additional expenses you will be responsible for. As a renter you agree to a monthly rent, sign on the dotted line and you are locked into that price for a year or more, depending on the term of the agreement.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for fixing every little thing that goes wrong. Leaky faucets, broken appliances , lack of heat, and pest control are solely up to you. Whether you are a DYI kind of person or need to hire a professional is up to you, but it will be your financial responsibility to do so. However, if you are a renter and something breaks inside your apartment, your landlord is most likely responsible or they will face legal repercussions.

To take advantage of owning your home,  you need to make a long term commitment and may even need expect unpredictable expenses that can come up. Renting provides you with the benefit of flexibility, short term commitment, and having fixed expenses for the term of your lease agreement.

However, home ownership has many advantages over renting as well. The interest you pay on your mortgage is tax deductible. As far as renting, you pay what you pay and the government does not reward you for that.

When you buy a home, you tend to lock into a long term contract that will fix your monthly payments for many years to come. As a renter, based on market conditions like demand, the price of oil and renovations the landlords make, you can always expect that you will pay more every year.

With homeownership, since you are your own landlord, you can react quickly to take care of any problem you have,. Renters are at the mercy of their landlords’ time and temperament.

Homeownership provides you with the ability to build equity so when you sell your home, you can get most of your money back or even had the luck to build wealth and turn a profit. The money you put into your rent, provides you with a roof over your head, but that is it.

Do you favor bright, bold colors and modern finishes when it comes to the color paint you want to have on your walls? As a homeowner you can go for it and really customize your homes interior to best reflect your tastes and personality. But trying to convince your landlord that “gunmetal” or “lime burst” are excellent color choices for the rentals interior will probably fall on deaf ears.

Ultimately, when it comes to buying a home versus renting, it is based on your personal choice on how you live your life. Each option has both its pros and cons and only you can decide which way the scale will tip.

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