If you’ve recently graduated college, or are nearing your 30s, should you buy a house? You’ve been out of school for a few years, and are making decent money, so it may seem like a good idea. However, is it really the right step? There are many things you should consider before purchasing a home. Real estate experts are quick to rage about all the benefits of buying over renting. This leads to many young buyers thinking they should settle down roots by buying a house, before their time. And it’s true that buying has major advantages over renting. But there are also pros to renting versus buying.
If you’ll buy, you’ll have permanent roots.
Think about how irritating it can sometimes be to have a pet. It really limits you on what you can do socially. You can’t leave town on a whim when you feel like it. So…imagine owning a house. If you feel like moving, you can’t. When you rent, the lease usually maxes out at one year. When you buy, you must stay in the home for at lest 3 years; otherwise, you’ll lose money on it. Staying for 3-5 years is the only way to get the money back from the initial cost. And, the market may even drop during that time. Say the 3-5 years is up and the market is at an all-time low. Certainly, it wouldn’t be wise. This will mean you’ll have to stay even longer.
You won’t see your friends as often.
When you own a house, you can’t call a landlord if something goes wrong. It’s your responsibility. You’ve got to remember to change things such as the heating filter, and get regular pest inspections. You might want to go out of town on a particular weekend, only to remember that you’ve got a maintenance person coming over to fix pipes on that date, and have to cancel your trip.
There are other costs besides just the monthly mortgage payment.
Don’t compare the cost of buying to renting by only looking at the mortgage payments versus rental prices. A mortgage will almost always be either cheaper, or about the same amount as buying a house. This is where many people get tricked; they think it’s a no-brainer. What they aren’t thinking about are all of the extra costs such as taxes, repairs, and the cost to maintain the home.
On the flip side, here are some advantages to buying.
You can decorate the house however you want to.
Your rental agreement will no longer stop you from tearing out a wall, changing the bathroom tile, or getting a pet. And of course, any improvements you make can increase the value of your property. You’re not motivated to make those improvements in a rental, where they’ll only benefit the landlord.
The home is very likely to increase in value (depending)
Over time, the value of houses tends to increase. However, sometimes it can take a while for it to happen. In any event, when you sell a home, the profit is yours! When you rent, it’s the landlords.
You won’t owe money anymore to a place to live
One of the biggest benefits of buying is that you can eventually never have to pay a monthly fee again. With renting, you’ll always be paying a portion of money. When a mortgage is off, your’e doing. You’re free to use the equity to buy your next home.
In addition to deducting mortgage interest and property taxes, which reduces your annual tax liability, in most cases you don’t get taxed on most of the money you make from selling your home. Check out this perspective on the issue at, The Absolute Insanity of Not Buying a Home When You’re Young, as well as, Buying and Financing Your First Home.