Reasons for Owning a Home vs. Renting
There are many advantages and disadvantages to either owning or renting a home. Deciding which option is best for you depends on many factors such as your financial situation, whether you see yourself moving within the next few years, the current market status, whether you like to do home improvement projects yourself, and many more. To help you determine whether buying a home or continuing to rent is the right choice for you, we compiled a list of factors to consider for each.
Reasons to Rent:
- Little to no maintenance expenses—When something breaks, such as the A/C unit or hot water heater, it’s your landlords responsibility to fix, not yours.
- Flexibility—Renting allows you to move as you please. If you’re expecting to move within the next few months or couple of years, renting may be a better choice.
- Income uncertainty—If you’re expecting a pay cut or negative change in income in the near future, renting is a more favorable option to owning a home since you have the option to more easily move to a cheaper residence.
- Utilities can sometimes be included—In some cases, the landlord may include utilities such as water, sewage, and electricity in your rent.
- Build your credit—Just like paying your bills on-time, making timely rent payments consistently can build your credit, allowing you to become better qualified for a mortgage or loan in the future.
Reasons to Own:
- Build equity—When you own a home, you have the ability to build equity. When renting, you are adding equity to your landlord’s bank account, which benefits them, not you. According to Zillow.com, a general rule is if you intend to stay in your property for at least five to seven years, the costs of purchasing a home are more likely to be offset by accrued equity and increased housing value. Your home’s equity can be used to make major purchases if needed down the road. For example, if you need extra money to pay your child’s college tuition, you can borrow against the equity in your home (refinance) in order to pay for this expense. In some cases, when refinancing you can reduce your interest rate depending on the status of the market.
- Gain tax advantages—Mortgage interest is tax deductible, as well as your property taxes. In addition, when selling your home if you meet certain requirements, the IRS will not apply a “capital gains” tax on your profits. This means you can keep the first $250,000 in profit you make when selling your home if you’re single, or the first $500,000 in profit if married. Also, if you paid points to get a better rate on your home loans, that same year you may be eligible for a tax break. Discover more commonly missed tax deductions you may qualify for here.
- Stability—A home provides a permanent place where you and your family can live and grow. Your mortgage payments generally remain the same, making it easier to plan for future expenses, while your landlord has the ability to increase rent.
- Freedom to decorate and build—When you own a home, you are able to paint and remodel as you please. This is typically not allowed when renting, or if you do, upon leaving you usually have to return the home back to its original condition.
- Get involved in the community— Homeowners are often more involved in the well-being of their communities. You can get to really know your neighbors and bond with them through neighborhood initiatives and programs to better the community.
Buying a home is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. If you think you’re ready to buy, or have additional questions about getting pre-qualified, current rates, and more, apply for a home loan online today!