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Renting or Buying:
Advantages and Disadvantages

If you are considering buying a house, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether buying a house instead of renting one is the right direction for you. Since owning a home is the "American Dream", many people simply assume that it's always to their advantage to buy a home, and for most, it is. Take a moment to review the following table to see how your situation fits in. Items in the green boxes are advantages and in the red boxes are disadvantages.

Renting

 

Buying

Advantages

 

Disadvantages

More fixed costs for the
term of the lease

 

Variable costs

Not gaining equity,
but not losing it either

 

Equity may go up, down, or stay stagnant

When the lease is up,
you can just move

 

If you want to move, home generally must be sold

There is generally less work in maintaining a home or apartment

 

Work needs to be done by you--or paid for by you

Smaller amount of "up-front" cash

 

Generally a larger initial investment--the downpayment

Disadvantages

 

Advantages

No matter what happens with the value of the home, you will never gain equity

 

Over time, the mortgage balance decreases and equity builds, even if the value of the home does not increase

Limited--or no--ability to personalize
your living quarters

 

The ability to remodel and redecorate the home to match your needs and desires

No tax advantage to renting. Your landlord gets any and all tax breaks that are available

 

There can be tax advantages attached to home ownership. Consult competent legal and/or accounting advice for details for your situation

Feel that buying a house is the right route for you? Start by reviewing the checklist.
Feeling that renting makes more sense? See
Apartments.com for listings across the country

mortgages

questions about buying a house

 

 
 

RELATED TOPICS

Checklist

To-Do Lists 

 Evaluation and Feedback

 
 
 
 
 

RECOMMENDED READING

 

100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask by Ilyce R. Glink. Important questions that every first-time home buyer should be asking. Available at Amazon.com

   

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