If you are asking yourself if you should move from a renter to a home owner you might want to take a minute to plug your numbers into this buy vs. rent calculator. It can be illuminating. If you have any questions about real estate, becoming a first time home owner, or how to compare renting versus buying a new home, feel free to contact us! We are happy to talk to you about your options. Contact Janet!
Buying vs. Renting – Why to chose one over the other?
Reasons to rent*
- Flexibility.Renting allows you to explore an area before making the longer-term commitment to homeownership. Unless you are certain about a specific neighborhood, renting allows time for research and discovery.
- Career uncertainty. If you think you might need to move in the near future, or are mulling job changes that span several areas of town or are located elsewhere in the country, you might want to rent. Buying ties you down to a greater extent.
- Income uncertainty. If you expect a pay hike or cut in the near future, that can change your borrowing ability as well as impact your ability to pay a mortgage.
- Bad credit. Creating a history of on-time rental payments can help you build the sort of credit you'll need to qualify for a mortgage.
- No maintenance expenses. When a pipe leaks, you don't head to the store; you head for the telephone and call the landlord.
- Utilities (sometimes) included. In some instances, the landlord may pay for many utilities such as water, sewer, garbage, and, in some cases, even heat and hot water.
But there is a downside, too: You may have no control over the fluctuation of your rent, a big-budget item that can change often. Long-term budgeting becomes more difficult.
Reasons to buy*
- Equity. When you pay rent, you are paying your landlord's mortgage or adding equity to his or her bank account. However, when you have a home mortgage, you increase your degree of ownership in your home with every payment. A general rule is that if you intend to stay in your property for at least five to seven years, the costs of purchasing the home are more likely to be offset by accrued equity and increased housing value. In the event that equity in the home grows to more than a 20-to-80 percent loan-to-value ratio, you will be able to borrow against your equity in the home. This can be cautiously used should you need capital to pay for major purchases. If interest rates drop, you can refinance your mortgage at more favorable rates, or, once you've paid the entire mortgage off, borrow against the equity in your home to fund major purchases such as a second home or your child's education.
- Tax deductions. You can deduct mortgage interest as well as your property taxes. Uncle Sam doesn't give renters this bonus. Not only that, but if you meet certain requirements the IRS won't apply a "capital gains" tax on your profits from the sale of your home. You can keep the first $250,000 in profit you make when selling the home if you're single, or the first $500,000 if married. In addition, those who work from home may be eligible to take deductions for their home office and portions of utilities.
- Creative control. You like dozens of pictures on the wall? Well, hammer away — they are your walls now. Go ahead and paint them mango! Wish you had another room? Go ahead and add one.
- Maintenance choices. If you live in a house, you can decide how to approach maintenance, either doing it yourself or picking your own contractor. If you live in a condominium or homeowners' association, you may pay a monthly fee to have maintenance work covered by the association's contractors.
* Based on Zillow's buying vs. renting analysis at http://www.zillow.com/home-buying-guide/rent-vs-buy/
When considering whether to buy or rent, take a look at the numbers: Plug your numbers into the Buy vs. Rent Calculator we provide and see what you come up with!
Have questions about what you can afford or what properties are available in your price range? Contact Janet!