There is always a passionate debate when it comes to buying vs. renting due to the aspect of determining which makes more financial sense.
This is because they both have valid points and as a result,one may end up being confused. Those who are pro buying argue that paying monthly rent instead of building equity in a home is not financially sound. On the other hand, those who advocate for rental houses argue that there are many financial reasons why this is a valid option.
Some experts also claim that suggesting one option is better than the other may be detrimental to the property market.
In order to shed more light to this debate, here is an outline of the pros and cons of both choices;
BUYING A HOUSE
This option makes sense if you;
- Have a reliable income
- Can afford a down payment for the house
- Have the money and time to maintain the house
- Are planning to stay in the house for at least five years.
- Are throwing money away on rent
The benefits of buying a house include;
- Pride of ownership
This is the first reason why most people buy their own houses. In addition, it gives you and your family a sense of security & stability.
- Control over modifications
Buying a house gives you the freedom to make permanent adjustments and improvement to better suit your needs as opposed to those who live in rented houses. By making improvements to your house, its value increases financially.
- Social benefits
Staying for longer periods of time in a particular house gives you the advantage of creating social benefits such as friendships with neighbors and you also get to be involved in the community projects.
- It’s yours
This statement seems cliché but it needs to be emphasized. It’s worth noting that you can live in your home indefinitely and not risk being kicked out as is the case with rentals.
The drawbacks of buying a house include;
- High cost of ownership
Buying a house can put a strain on your finances, especially if you don’t have the savings. Owning a house is also a long term financial commitment and so you are tied to your property and your area. As a home owner, you will also be forced to foot the repair costs.
- Repair and maintenance
Owning a property means you are solely responsible for all repairs, the maintenance and up keep of the property. This aspect can easily drain you especially when you don’t have the time.
- Waiting to sell
Circumstances such as a long distance job may force you to sell your house. However, you can’t make a buyer appear overnight. On the other hand, real estate cannot be quickly converted to cash.
- Less flexibility
Though owning a house gives you some flexibility to do adjustments, it also limits your flexibility. Simply put, you may face a lot of difficulties when circumstances force you to move.
RENTING A HOUSE
Renting a house makes sense if;
- The cost of renting the house meets your financial status.
- The house meets your personal preferences.
- The house contains basic amenities like electricity, water and mobile network among others.
- The house is structurally sound.
- The house is big enough for you/your family.
- The area is secure.
Pros of renting a house
This is the best option for persons who are mostly faced with sudden changes such as job relocation. This is because they are not required to make a long term commitment.
- A Variety of choices
As a tenant, you have the option of living in places where you cannot afford to buy.
- You can easily move
A tenant can easily move out of a house if he so chooses as opposed to a homeowner who has to wait for a buyer to purchase the property.
- Repair and maintenance
The tenant does not need to worry about the repair and maintenance of the houses as this is the duty of the landlord.
The drawbacks of renting a house include;
- Rules & regulations
As a tenant, you are bound by the rules laid down in the lease agreement. This can impact the freedom to renovate the property. In addition, no changes can be made without the consent of the homeowner.
- No investment opportunity
Renting a house means that you cannot get a return on your investment because the property is not legally yours. Other than that, monthly rent payments consist of money that is not being invested in building up projects.
Renting a house means that you have no control over rent increase. The landlord may also choose to kick you out if he needs to sell the property.
- Controlled living environment
In this case, the owner decides who will and when the repairs will be done. This may inconvenience the tenant especially if the landlord is slow in making repairs such as squeaky doors.
All in all, the decision to either buy or rent a house is ultimately yours. However, let the following questions guide you when making that ultimate decision.
- What can you afford?
- How much savings do you have?
- How long do you plan to stay in the house?
- Do you want to be responsible for maintenance?
- What are you family, career and financial goals?
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