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.

To rent or to buy. That is the question.

March 29th, 2018
By: Northern Credit Union

So, you’ve graduated and landed your first job. Now, you’re starting to think about that next big step—getting your own place. But before you take the next step, you wonder about the merits of buying and renting.

You’re not alone. It’s a dilemma a lot of people face. But before you start sweating the details, here are some important factors you can take into account to help make your decision a bit easier.

The pros for renting:  First and foremost, renting allows you to get a place immediately without having to come up with 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’re not on the hook.

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 a definite thing to consider.

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. For what seems like forever, rates have been quite low. However, if you haven’t noticed they’ve been rising over the past year or so, and many believe this trend will continue. So, if you’re thinking about buying now’s a good time to 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—weight 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.