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

Advantages:

1.More fixed costs for the term of the lease.

2.Not gaining equity, but not losing it either

3.When the lease is up, you can just move.

4.There is generally less work in maintaining a home or apartment.

5.Smaller amount of “up-front” cash

Disadvantages:

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

2.Limited–or no–ability to personalize your living quarters.

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

Buying

Advantages:

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

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

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

Disadvantages:

1.Variable costs.

2.Equity may go up, down, or stay stagnant.

3.If you want to move, home generally must be sold.

4.Work needs to be done by you–or paid for by you.

5.Generally a larger initial investment–the down payment

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.

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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