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Is it Worth Buying My Own Home - Or Is It Better to Rent?

Updated on July 21, 2017
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella is a full-time professional landlord and property developer with fourteen years' experience. She is based in the UK

The Key To Finding A Suitable Home

A house purchase is a big commitment and not one to be taken lightly
A house purchase is a big commitment and not one to be taken lightly | Source

Your Biggest Investment Is Your Home

There are a number of factors to consider before reaching a decision whether to buy or rent a home. They will depend largely on which option suits your individual or family needs and whether becoming a homeowner is viable for you. Buying a home will be one of the biggest commitments you'll ever make and should not be done on a whim.

Compiling a checklist of your individual requirements is a good idea so you can make an informed decision.

Points To Consider When Renting A Home

Being a tenant has many advantages as there are pitfalls to home ownership which may not be apparent at the time of purchase. You may fall foul of financial institutions that move the goal posts or escalate the interest rates. True, a landlord can increase your rent, or want to sell up but you can always find somewhere cheaper or better if you don't think you're getting good value for money.

Even for moneyed folk, it can sometimes be a better lifestyle choice to rent, especially if you don't want to remain in any one place for very long. Mobility is the key for young professionals and the phrase 'upwardly mobile' is often associated with those who go where the opportunity leads them. If you belong to this group, then buying a home may not be for you. With residential property remaining on the market for longer nowadays, it could be crushing to find yourself tied to a particular spot if you can't find a buyer. A tenant would be in a far better position than an owner as you can usually hand in your notice one month before your rental contract expires and when the term has ended, you can easily relocate.

When renting a home, if you find you don't settle, or the house is no longer suitable for your requirements, you can move to another rental property, but if you own your home it will be far more difficult. There are the obvious legal implications of home ownership and tedious formalities will always compromise a swift move.

Tenants never have to pay for buildings insurance, only contents coverage is advised for their own possessions. All repairs and maintenance issues should be taken care of by the landlord, so this is peace of mind knowing that you won't have to pay out for such things as roof repairs and boiler breakdowns. As a tenant, you can more readily predict your monthly outgoings, as you know you won't have to find money for unexpected repairs.

Homeowners have a whole set of complicated responsibilities that must be addressed. This is why so many people prefer to rent their home rather than buy, as it frees them from the worry that responsibility brings and grants them more flexibility.

House Hunting Can Be Fun Whether You're Renting Or Buying!

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Points To Consider When Buying A Home

If you're the sort of person who wants ultimate control over their home, then being a tenant is not for you, as you won't like asking permission to decorate in a certain colour or request if it is acceptable to have a pet in the property.

The financial outlay involved when buying a home can be mind-boggling and will tie you into many years of mortgage payments whereas a tenancy is usually only based on a six month or yearly contract.

As a homeowner, you'll also have to find a sizeable sum for a deposit. Are you ready for this sort of commitment? If not, then renting a home is by far the better choice for you. Just because you are renting now, it doesn't mean you can't own your own home at some future point. The average age when people become homeowners has increased to the late to mid-thirties and mortgages can be arranged to mature well beyond retirement age.

Looking For Your Ideal Home

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The Best of Both Worlds

The time needed to save for a deposit on a house will mean that most people are likely to experience being tenants and homeowners during different periods of their lives, but one way or another, a house can still be made into a home whether it is rented or purchased.

If you are trying to determine whether to buy or rent your home, it will help if you do an Internet search of suitable properties for sale and rental in your particular area. View a few and assess which would best meet your current and future needs. Reputable property portals such as Zoopla in the UK, or MSN real estate in the USA can be the best allies of tenants and home owners alike in any search for a desirable home.

Many housing associations offer a shared ownership scheme whereby you rent part of a property and buy the rest. It can thus be an alternative option to buying outright in order to get a foot on the housing ladder and remain a tenant at the same time. You can always buy the remaining share of the property at some future date at the current market value of the time.

The tenancy on many rental properties may come with an option to buy at some point and this can be a great compromise for those who are unsure whether to rent or buy. As with all things, conduction the proper research, and being armed with the correct information, will ensure you choose the most convenient option for you.

Buying V Renting (USA)

Buying A House In The UK

© 2015 Stella Kaye

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