There’s a widely held belief that buying a home is preferable to renting. You’ve probably heard your parents or even friends say that as long as you are renting, you just throw the money away, into a landlord’s pockets. Contrary to this popular belief, fewer and fewer Americans decide to own a house, claiming it is a liability at best, and a problem at worst.
Which one then is a better, safer, and more profitable option? This article examines the benefits of both buying and renting and tries to determine the answer to this question.
You can Make Money from your Home
When you own your home, you can make money from it in a variety of ways. Renting out a room or even just car parking space could deliver a steady stream of income.
And if you have the right kind of mortgage, you can rent your house out whilst living somewhere else. Check out this rental property calculator to find out how much you’d stand to make.
House Value May Increase
When you buy a home, particularly if you have a considerable deposit, you can look at it as an investment. As long as you’re not planning to move any time soon, chances are its value will increase by the time you come to sell.
This, of course, depends upon the area in which you buy and the general economic climate. But if you sell your home 20 or 30 years down the line, you probably stand to make a profit.
When it comes to putting your home back on the market, you could find that improvements you’ve made to the property have increased your home’s value.
Often, well-executed home improvements pay for themselves and then some at the time of a sale.
Benefits of Renting
No Additional Costs
People like to say that renting a property is just like throwing money away. But whilst buying a home can be an investment, there are plenty of other costs involved.
If you buy a home with a mortgage, you’re spending a huge amount of money on interest payments over the course of that mortgage.
And that’s before you even get started on maintenance costs, insurance, the fees associated with buying and your utilities. By renting you avoid all of these additional costs.
The economic climate has much less impact on your rental than it would on a bought home. Whilst rental prices may rise and fall, chances are they generally stay in line with wage patterns.
However, buy a home with a large mortgage and you’re more susceptible to changes in the economy and the housing market. 23% of Americans owe more on their mortgages than their home is actually worth.
This is called negative equity and unless house prices increase dramatically or these people hold on to their homes for a long time, they’ll struggle to sell their homes any kind of profit.
You Won’t Be Stuck Paying a Rate you Can’t Afford
Sometimes landlords choose to raise the rent. If this happens and you can’t afford the new figure, you have the opportunity to give your notice, pack up and find somewhere new.
When you have a mortgage, payments can rise with interest rates. But if your mortgage suddenly becomes unaffordable, you don’t have the same flexibility to reduce costs. You may end up having to organise a costly move to downsize or even lose your home if you fail to make mortgage payments.
Renting Frees Up Money for Other Investments
You may find that renting is actually a cheaper option for the moment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in your future. The money you save renting rather than buying can be used to make investments in areas other than property.
Time to Ask Yourself Some Questions
Whether you choose to rent or buy will depend largely on your current circumstances. Ask yourself a few questions.
- Do you like the flexibility of renting? Or would you like to settle down in one place to raise a family?
- Do you have a big enough deposit to buy a home? And are current interest rates favourable?
- How much are monthly rental costs? How do they compare to the costs of buying a home, maintaining it and paying a mortgage?
Predicting how much profit you stand to make from buying a home is impossible. It’s always something of a gamble. What you can do is work out the current affordability of both renting and buying and decide which option fits best with your life.
Sienna Walker is a self-growth and lifelong-learning enthusiast who enjoys seeking out new and unique ways of saving and earning money. She is also an active blogger and might often be found online, sharing her tips with others and participating in online discussions.