- Personal Finance»
- Mortgages & Loans
To Rent or Buy: That is The Question
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.