When looking at buying a home, one should take stock of their situation and decide if buying a home truly is the best option for them right now. Are you really ready for the financial and personal burden of owning your own home? If you’re not certain, a list of pros and cons of each can help you decide if now is the right time to buy a home or if you’d be better off renting for the time being.
When it comes to owning your own home, there certainly are plenty of advantages. Firstly, you’ll get to settle into a community, get to know the neighbors, and truly become a part of the neighborhood. You also have the freedom to decorate and renovate your home as you see fit. This might be hampered somewhat if you live in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association, but for the most part, you’re free to do whatever you like with your home. Additionally, your house payments will be stable, you can build equity in your home, and take advantage of tax breaks that homeowner’s get. You’ll also be able to use your home as an investment should you decide to rent it out at any time.
Unfortunately, there are also some downsides to owning your own home. The most obvious is that you have to pay for your own maintenance. Calls to the plumber, electrician, fixes to the furnace or other appliances all come out of your own pocket. Homeowner’s insurance is a mandatory expense that you might not have considered when you started shopping. You have to pay property taxes and you could end up losing value on your home as time goes on, depending on the market.
As far as renting goes, there are some benefits there too. Anything that breaks, you can just call the landlord or maintenance department to have fixed. Moving is easier if you’re not set in a career or have the opportunity to relocate, as you can just go to a month-to-month lease rather than worry about selling your home. You also don’t have to worry about property value dropping.
Just as with owning a home, however, there are downsides to renting. Monthly payments can fluctuate over time, usually on the rise. You don’t get tax benefits for renting and you don’t build any equity. Lastly, while some landlords will let you paint your apartment, you’ll need to get their permission first and they’ll usually want input on the colors you choose. Any other changes such as new appliances will also require consulting your landlord.