TO RENT OR TO BUY. THAT IS THE QUESTION.

When it's time to find a home, renting vs. buying is the first question that pops up in many people's minds. Which is right for you? Here are some key things to consider.

So it’s time to find your first home. Before you take the next step, you wonder about the merits of buying versus renting.

You’re not alone. It’s a dilemma a lot of people face. Here are some important factors you can take into account to help make your decision a bit easier.

THE PROS OF RENTING

First, renting allows you to get a place immediately without having to have a down payment (aside from the typical first and last month’s rent). So, renting for a few years while you save can be the right move. You should also consider that when you rent, you don’t have to pay maintenance costs, so when the furnace goes on the ‘fritz,’ you don’t have to pay the bill.

Renting also means you won’t have to cover costs such as property tax and other expenses associated with home ownership. Of course, renting also means that you won’t start building equity in a home that you own. But if you’re just starting out, renting is definitely worth considering.

THE PROS OF OWNING

Three words—equity, equity, equity! This holds especially true if you’re just starting out, say in your mid-20’s and 30’s. Owning a home is a good investment, and as it gains in value throughout the years, you’re the beneficiary.

Now, this may seem silly, but there really is some pride in ownership. Walking through that door and knowing this is your place is a feeling that just can’t be matched when you rent.

You also need to consider interest rates. Low borrowing rates definitely help and can lower your payments, and the total you pay for your home whereas the reverse is true when rates go up. So, if you’re thinking about buying consider the interest rate before you lock in. If you’re curious about the current rates, this is a good resource to find out.

OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

When it’s time to decide whether to rent or buy your home, think about your budget—consider both your income and expenses. If you’re wondering how much mortgage you can afford, check out this handy calculator.

Your age is also something to take into account. The younger you are, the better it is to buy a place (if you can afford it) and start building equity. Finally, timing is everything. Ask yourself—how long do you plan to live in your home? How long do you think you’ll stay in the next place? It all factors in to your final decision.

Whichever path you choose, getting some advice is always a good idea. There are some things you might not have considered and a Northern Advisor is the right person to talk to.