home buying information center
Checking your credit report does not hurt
Get Your Free Credit Report

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.







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




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


questions about buying a house





To-Do Lists 

 Evaluation and Feedback




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


HOME | Your Checklist | To-Do Lists | Agents | Mortgages | Questions

| Find a Home | Inspections | Research | More Links | Bookstore