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Renting vs Buying

Renting vs Buying: When to Rent and When to Buy

I still remember clearly sitting in my high school chemistry class when my professor mentioned that if we take anything away from the class it’s that if he could go back he would have invested in real estate much earlier in life. Yes, that was in chemistry class. While I don’t remember much chemistry I still remember that conversation.¬†Among a few things that people cannot live without in life, housing is one of them.

There seems to be a constant argument regarding about renting vs buying. In my experience there is a time and place for both.

Renting

Flexibility

Sometimes you just know from the start that you are not going to live in one place long enough in order to purchase. Throughout college and while at various internships renting was really my only option. While renting by the month can be costly, it does offer that flexibility of packing your bags and moving on a moments notice.

Fixed Cost

In many cases renting can mean a lower fixed monthly cost. Notice I qualified that with “Fixed”. Costs of owning your place can vary greatly at times. There are times where you may need to purchase new appliances, a pipe could burst, or an electrical issue could present itself. There are just so many more variables to owning than renting.

Check out this article on budgeting

Control

The biggest downfall of renting is that in reality you lack all control over your living situation. Want to adopt a dog? You need to get approval from your landlord. Think your room could use a different paint color. Good luck!

This was single handedly by biggest issue with renting. I love doing projects. We asked multiple times if we could paint some of the rooms and every time we were denied (The walls were dark brown and the ceiling was light brown). The day we closed on the house was the day that I started our remodel of the living room.

Owning

Freedom of choices

That animal you want to adopt? Go ahead and start filling out the paperwork because when you own your home you are the one in control. You don’t like the way that wall is looking at you? Knock it down. Just look out for those structural ones.

Maintenance

Remember when you could just call the landlord when your a/c went out? That is not really an option when your the owner. I can vouch from recent experience that a central a/c unit is one of the most expensive repairs you can make. It was nice being able to call the landlord to have expensive appliances fixed.

Ability to Increase the Value (earn equity)

If you buy at the right time and in the right area you could see massive returns in just a few months. My favorite pare of owning my home is the small and large changes that you can make to make it your own. If you are careful about these changes it can pay off greatly. We are conservatively estimating that our home has increased in value in the last 18 months by $45,000.

Renting vs Buying

Realtor.com has created a fantastic calculator that shows the numbers for your specific area. While the numbers are great I think it also comes down to the lifestyle you want to live. There are definitely times when owning a home feels very burdensome. But there are also times where I would not trade it for anything else.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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