At some point in nearly everyone's life, they ask themselves the age-old question: should they rent or buy a home? This is, of course, an extremely personal decision in which there is no standard answer. What works for one person's situation won't necessarily be the best choice for someone else—even if they have similar circumstances. The following checklist provides some things to consider when teasing out the pros and cons of the buy or rent dilemma.
The "buy or rent?" question often seems to arise when an individual envisions settling down and establishing roots somewhere. For many, this occurs when they marry or find a life partner. Others don't feel the pull to put down roots unless they have children. In terms of stability, buying a home enables the owner to establish a more permanent presence within their community.
Flexibility is an important component of the decision to buy or rent a home. For an individual whose job requires a great deal of relocating, renting would likely be the better choice. It can sometimes be difficult to sell a home as quickly as one would like when a move is imminent.
Renting also offers a person the ability to change their neighbourhood if they decide that they don't like the one they currently live in. One downside to this is that it can sometimes be difficult to find rental homes or apartments in some neighbourhoods as some place restrictions on renting.
For a person who is going to move within a few years, the fees and lack of time to build up equity in a home could wind up costing them more than if they simply funneled their money into a rental. Most people, though, will see cost savings for the long term if they decide to purchase a home instead of renting.
Even though a down payment and other assorted costs are required when purchasing a home, it is a one-time event. Meanwhile, they are building equity in their home and may be able to make a profit off of it when it's time to sell their home. When renting an apartment or home, the tenant must come up with enough money for the security deposit, and sometimes they need the first and last month's rent as well before they can move in.
One commonly cited ding against buying a home is that the owner is then responsible for all maintenance costs as well as ensuring that the necessary tasks are completed in a timely manner. While it can seem like renting would be more favourable in this aspect because maintenance is included, the true picture is a little more complex than that. When renting, the tenant has to put in a request, wait for someone to show up to look at the issue and diagnose it. Often this means a second visit back to fix the problem which is often a hasty repair that doesn't address the true issue.
For people who are at that point in their lives when they are considering whether they should rent or buy a home, sitting down with a real estate agent can be a good place to start. Whether you want to buy a home in Crestwood or across the city, they have the local knowledge to help you make the right decisions. This professional has a wealth of experience and knowledge providing them with the ability to objectively outline different points of consideration.
By Justin Havre