When the real estate market takes off and home supply is stretched, the urge to finally jump in and buy a home before they’re “all gone” is strong. If you’ve been considering buying after only renting in Albertville or Homewood, seeing housing inventory drop so quickly can be nerve-wracking. However, giving in to the fear of missing out and pouncing on a property could get you a place that is absolutely not what you need. It’s true that once you’ve decided to bid on a home that you need to move fast, but you also need to be absolutely sure that buying will bring you more benefits than renting does.
Buying Gives You More Control Over Where You Live
If you buy your own home, you don’t need anyone’s permission to do whatever you want to the interior (except for permits as required by government regulations). In non-HOA neighborhoods, you get to do pretty much whatever you want to the exterior, too, again as long as it stays within the law. Even in HOA-controlled developments, you have more say in what happens to the exterior of your home than you would if you were renting.
When you rent, you can’t really do much to change the space where you live. You can add temporary things like rugs, and with the landlord’s permission in some places, you can repaint, but you can’t knock down walls, replace old cabinetry, or upgrade the plumbing or rental complex landscaping.
Renting Means You Do Less Work
Rental properties have maintenance people to take care of repairs or replacements. In the property you own, you’d have to do the work yourself or hire an outside repair or service company. However, the landlord may still decide to charge you if the work was required because you broke something.
Look At Total Costs
Many people will look at low monthly mortgage payments and high monthly rent and say that buying is better because it costs less. However, you have to look at all of the costs involved. For example, most homes have laundry hookups, so you may spend more on appliances at first but then eventually save money as you no longer have to pay exorbitant laundromat prices every time you want to wash your clothes. With a purchased home, you have repair costs, but you also build up equity that could help you with those costs. Plus, those costs can be spread out over time.
When you rent, there’s no guarantee of what your rent will be the next year; it could go up substantially. You could find yourself priced out of your rental with only a month or two to find a place you can afford. You could lose your deposit, too. If you move frequently because of rising rents, you could end up losing several hundred dollars worth of deposits if the landlords in your area are unscrupulous.
Buying, Renting, And Space
Keep in mind that when you buy, you’re getting a lot more space than you would if you rented (assuming the hypothetical mortgage payment and monthly rent are about the same). If you want a lot of space, buying a home is a better deal for you than renting.
Deciding whether to rent or buy a property can be daunting, but by weighing the pros and cons of each, you can make the right decision for your circumstances.