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To Rent or Buy: That is The Question

Updated on October 26, 2011

renting or buying?

The decision to purchase your own home is one of the biggest that you will ever have to make. I have been a renter ever since I left my parents’ home some years back. My wife and I are currently deciding on whether to buy the house we presently occupy or to look for another house either to buy or rent.

In the past we did not buy because we were not ready to stay in any one location but that has changed. We like our community and I will say that is the first consideration; is the house in the town or city where you plan on living or is it a temporary location.

If you plan on moving on then ending a rental agreement is easier than selling a house, especially in hard economic times when houses are not moving. There was a time not that long ago when this thought, the house may not sell, played little role in the process.

Recently that has changed so you need to ask yourself, do I want to pay two mortgages? Of course you could rent one house and live-in another and if both are located in the same city that may be a wise investment. However, what if they are in different location, possibly hundreds of miles apart? Do you hire someone to collect the rent and take care of any needed maintenance?

Maintenance brings us to an important consideration, all houses and even apartments will require some maintenace. The renter picks up the phone, for the most part, and the kitchen sink gets fixed and the owner picks up the tab.

If you won the house you pay. Over the years I have rented houses that eventually needed new roofs, new bathtubs, new stoves, new refrigerators, none of that cost me a cent. A phone call and the needs were met.

Now you can get bad landlords and when renting you do need to check things out, especially if there is a lease involved. If you sign a lease make sure the terms about repairs and responsibilities are clearly spelled out.

One of the best deals we have had was living in a rented house, the top floor with a private entrance, in other words a duplex that came with furniture, dishes, pots and pans, stove and refrigerator. It was a sweet deal and if we could find something like that now, it would be tempting if the price was right.

A house, one you own, also has outside maintenance to do, lawns need cutting, gardens watering and if you live where it snows, snow must be shoveled, which may include the roof. This can be hard work, not the lawn so much as twice a month is enough for cutting but snow is a very different matter. It can snow, in some locations for several days and snow gets heavy. Then there is the issue of where to put it. Grass clippings you can leave lie and add some to the compost, snow not so.

You may do the same in a rented house but you also may be able to get a rent reduction in return for yoru labour. I have done that.

We have not made the decision to rent or buy as yet and at the moment iit is 50-50 as we can see the pros and cons of both sides; we have time it is months before a final decision needs to be made. This leads to two things, one take your time before signing anything and two, decide for yourself, make the choice that best suits you and how you want to live; do not let others tell you what is best that is your choice.

rent or buy

Renting or owning which do your prefer?

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  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, too many people accept buying a house as a must do. It depends upon a number of factors. Thanks for dropping by.

  • DonnaCosmato profile image

    Donna Cosmato 

    7 years ago from USA

    Balanced approach on the pros and cons and you brought up some points I had not considered. I voted this up.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    We have decided to continue to rent; I can relate to the decorating influence, but not enough to take the step. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Sandyjunep profile image


    7 years ago from Australia

    I am renting and really want to own, but thats just so I can redecorate. Seems strange but I enjoy putting my name on things. BUT we have not bought, we do not know what sort of home we want or where do we want to live. The part I enjoyed about renting is that I can live in homes and locations that I could never afford to buy.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    I am glad you are pleased, but not everyone has children. Thanks for stopping by.

  • worldscope profile image

    George Chegge 

    9 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

    Some years back I learnt a new of way of making decisions when I wasn't sure which way to go. That is, to copy the decisions of those who have achieved hat I dream of.

    In this case of Buy or Rent, I looked at all the wealthy and financially independent people i knew and quickly realized that none of them rented their homes - they all owned their homes. Almost all of them actually owned properties that they rented out to other people.

    That is how I made my decision to buy my home and commercial properties to rent out to those who are glad to pay my mortgage and make me some profit on the side. And what a precious gift i will give to my kids when they inherit debt-free commercial properties to continue renting out!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Here in New Brunswick, this, as long as you have a steady job, is a good time to buy, prices are down and it is a buyers' market, still I am not convicned, locally, buying is the best option.

  • mulder profile image


    9 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

    Great info Bob I own my house I wouldn't go back to renting for quids the constant rent inpsections and also the cost of renting in Australia is huge its actually cheaper to buy then to rent then its a case if the owner wants to sell you have to find go though the hassle to find annother place to rent which in Australia is getting very hard to find and you have pay out a a thousand dollars plus to move . Our intrest rates are going down and down now so its the idea time to buy a house in Australia if you dont get anything to expensive and with the goverment first buyer grants its now even easier . I know it not the case in The Usa which is a shame for people wanting to buy .

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, I agree, I have seen people lose their homes because they got in too deep and could not afford it, I knwo people with 2 mortages. Thanks for stopping by.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Very good points made here Bob. Too many jump in headfirst before really thinking about all it takes to keep a home going.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    I think there may be an age cut off when it comes to buying, that is one factor we are considering. Thanks for stopping by.

  • profile image

    Debra Myers 

    9 years ago

    In as much as being a home owner is tempting, at this point in my own life, renting seems to be the wisest choice for me.


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