When it comes to settling down and finding a spot to call home sweet home, you’ve got plenty of options. Paint versus wallpaper, apartment versus house, carpet versus hardwood — the list is endless.
But before you pick out paint colors and start changing addresses, there’s one major question everyone should address: Should you rent or buy?
Luckily, GOBankingRates created this handy guide to break down the major factors that say a tenant’s life might be a better fit than homeownership. Read on to see if any of the reasons listed below apply to you — and if they do, you might want to rent a home instead of buying one.
1. Your Credit Score Is Subpar
Credit is like the magic key to unlock the tenets of a successful future. If your credit score is ‘meh’ at best, you should make it your mission to raise that credit score before you ever think about signing up for a mortgage.
Besides potentially barring you from careers or quality cars, your credit score also dictates the terms and interest rate for a potential mortgage — which means if your score isn’t up to snuff, you’ll be looking at subpar rate terms and get stuck paying a lot more in the long term.
It’s Time To Change Your Mindset: Your Home Is Not an Investment
2. You’re Susceptible to Stress
Homeownership isn’t for the weak. When it comes to owning a house, Murphy’s Law certainly applies — anything that could potentially go wrong probably will at some point. In fact, homeownership is widely considered one of the most major sources of financial stress, as found by a GOBankingRates survey.
3. Your Emergency Fund Is Lacking
When things in your home start breaking — and they will — you’ll be the one left to foot the bill. Without a trusty landlord to swoop in and save the day, you’ll want to have an emergency fund to help pay for repairs. If you don’t have emergency savings, take steps to build one before you purchase a home.
4. Flexibility Is Key
Signing a mortgage is a major commitment. When you sign on the dotted line, you’re pretty much saying “I Do” to your property for a minimum of a few years at least.
If your lifestyle is steeped with a healthy sense of wanderlust — or you work a job that requires the freedom to pick up and go — homeownership is best left on the backburner until you can afford to put some permanent roots down, even for a little while.