How do you know if it’s better to buy or rent a home? With so much to consider, this big life decision may seem overwhelming. However, as long as you focus on some key questions, you can make the best choice. Here are the questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to decide between renting and buying:
Buying a home is a commitment. If you have a clear plan for the future and are comfortable to stay in one place, home ownership might be a good option for you. Thinking in terms of a “5-year plan” is a good way to determine whether you should buy versus rent, because it takes approximately 5 years for a house to appreciate enough value to make up for the cost. Also, mortgages often have fixed terms that will penalize you for paying off or breaking contract early.
Renting gives you more freedom to move around and change your mind in the future. Most rental agreements are for a year or less and some even allow month-to-month commitments. If you do not want to stay in one geographical area for the long term, renting is a good idea. It’s also simpler if you decide or need to make a career change requiring relocation.
Home ownership has amazing benefits. However, it’s important to consider which of those benefits matters the most to you in your situation. A good question to ask yourself is what specifically about owning a home appeals to you. Do you want complete autonomy over things like design, landscaping and maintenance? If so, buying will be better than renting for you. If you are looking for a sense of permanence and the ability to truly make a space your own, ownership will also provide you with those benefits over renting.
These are just a few things to think about when deciding between renting or owning a home. Weigh your options and ask yourself these questions in order to make the best choice.