words Alexa Wang
Whether you’re moving into your first home or simply moving once again, the rent vs buy debate rears its ugly head.
Which is the better option? Does one of these two choices lead to a more financially sound future, or isn’t it as cut and dry as people would like you to believe?
There are numerous factors to consider before making that decision, and no clear-cut answer as to which is ultimately better. It all comes down to your personal situation, wants, and needs. This article weighs the pros and cons of buying vs renting to help you make the best decision possible.
Neither Option Is Perfect
Before the housing crisis of the early 2000s, homeownership was considered the best option financially. It was also a measure of one’s income status that doubled as an excellent investment, allowing you to buy up if you kept the home in good shape. Now, buying a home can be a financial trap.
Renting is the popular choice today, especially with options like the luxury apartments in west LA, but it has its downsides as well. Renovating or even repainting is often out of the question, you might have to deal with inconveniences like community laundry, and your monthly rent could be higher than a mortgage.
Weighing Individual Factors
While each choice might have its downsides, there are plenty of positives as well. However, deciding whether these pros apply to you is a matter of individual factors. Here are some things you’ll want to consider before making a final decision.
First, how long do you plan to live there? Renting is obviously best for the short-term, but the costs of homeownership often spread out at around seven years. You might be able to save money through buying if you plan to live there for a decade or more.
The area you’re looking in makes a difference in cost, too. Living uptown in any major city is going to cost an arm and a leg, but opting for a downtown address could give you the benefits you want at an affordable cost. Many find that there is nothing more convenient than downtown luxury apartments as opposed to a home.
With a down payment on a home, your mortgage might cost less than a month’s rent. At the same time, you might want to put that chunk of cash into investments or savings. Despite a higher rent, you could save money on upkeep and utilities. However, you wouldn’t be able to sell your home for a higher price with the right renovations. Plus, owning a home comes with tax incentives.
The answer to the rent vs buy debate is whichever option is best for you. Your current financial situation, attitudes, and lifestyle all determine whether you would be happier in an apartment or a house.
Don’t buy into this age-old debate. Instead, take the time to weigh every option against your wants and needs to determine which living option best suits your life and future plans.