Stability or flexibility?
The debate over buying or renting a house has been going on for too long, where it’s actually just a matter of preference – nothing is better than the other. But, if you still have one foot on buying and the other on renting, here are some key pointers to help you make a decision.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
While this may sound like a boring job interview question, it actually gives you a headstart on deciding whether to buy or rent a house. Ask yourself this: Am I still going to live here in five years?
If you plan on having a family, with two beautiful kids who go to a school nearby, and you have a stable job in an office downtown, buying a house will be a great choice for you. But if you don’t plan on settling down yet and your job requires you to move cities, or even countries, a lot, renting could be a better option. Why? Read on to find out.
Maintenance, tax and all that stuff
If you live alone, are outside a lot and you leave your house empty and unattended most of times, some problems can easily grow here and there – jammed drainage systems, leaking pipes, moldy and weathered windowsills. Not only are they frustrating, but also costly! Unless you have a family member or roommate living with you, renting would be easier and less costly. Anything needs fixing? Call the landlord.
If you have a family member or a housemate living with you, buying a house would be better. They can help take care of the house when you’re away, so damages can be minimized. You might even share some bills with them – maybe not the property tax or insurance, but things like electricity or phone bills.
Down payment, income, credit score
How much do you make each month? Do you have emergency fund for at least six months of living costs? Do you have enough for the down payment? How’s your credit score looking like?
If you have enough for an emergency fund and down payment, if your credit score looks good without too much ongoing or unfinished debts, and if the mortgage will not exceed 25% of your monthly income, we say you should go ahead and buy that house.
How’s your neighborhood situation?
The price of a house in a big city can rise as high as the skyscrapers. But what if you work in one of those skyscrapers? You can buy a house or apartment if you can afford it. It will be very convenient for your daily commute. It’s a different story, though, if you can’t afford a house downtown. You can either buy a cheaper house in the suburb, and take more time commuting. Or you can rent a house or apartment in the city center.
To buy or to rent – they’re neither good nor bad. It all depends on your preferences, lifestyle and financial situation. Although owning a house seems more like a good investment, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind: only buy a house that meets your needs for the long run. And remember, never buy a house just for the sake of having a house.