There are two main points you should take out of this article. First, always enlist the help of a professional to help you weigh all the options and do the math. Second, don’t simply look at the monthly expenses of owning vs. renting. The gains of ownership often appear over the long-haul and will not be immediately apparent on a monthly cost comparison. Remember that we are currently in a buyer’s market and this will often favor ownership over renting.
Those of us who are conscious of the current economic conditions would say that choosing between owning and renting a house at this time poses quite a challenge. It is very easy to fall prey to others whose opinion seemingly sound “good.” However, we cannot deny that this requires expertise on the part of the information source. In so doing, we can possibly avoid costly or unnecessary mistakes. Preferring the right information source with reference to owning or renting also affords us the chance to anchor our decisions from an authority on the matter.
Buying your own home, on the other hand appears to be more complicated. With the help of a professional, a calculating device known as PITI are added together to determine your expenses. PITI stands for “principal” or the amount of money paid towards the principal of your loan, “interest” or the amount of money paid toward the interest of the loan, “taxes” or the property taxes to be paid, and “insurance” or that which pertains to property and/or if possible, mortgage insurance.
Owning a home also covers utility expenses plus other maintenance outlay aside from the PITI. In the case of renting, while it is compelling that you only pay the same amount on a monthly basis; you can go back and determine what your previous payments could buy you a home for. Monthly monetary costs are important aspects in deciding what to choose between owning and renting but it is also equally significant to look at the long-term benefits.
Renting will perhaps save you some of the costs apparent to the other but after several years of paying, you still do not have a title to call your own. In addition, your monthly rental becomes higher as time goes by. On one hand, the cost we pay to home ownership remains constant through the years except for some expense that inflation affects (i.e. utilities, insurance, etc.).
The majority of these long-term benefits often lie on the side of ownership. After many years of renting you will still have title to nothing and you will continually be paying higher rents. After owning for many years your payments will remain basically the same as when you first purchased the home (except some costs like utilities, insurance, etc. that rise with inflation, your main costs will not change). And, what’s even better, you will have the wonderful thing called equity from all the payments you’ve made towards owning the home. If you choose wisely in an appreciating market (not hard to do!) you will also gain the value of appreciation of your home….it’s like free equity!
Conversely, this piece wants to point out two important concerns relative to renting and buying a house. One is to seek advice from the right authority to help you identify the best course of action. Next is to examine carefully both the financial and subjective considerations. The gains or benefits usually become apparent on a long term basis. Finally, it would help to bear in mind that we are in a buyer’s market where ownership is deemed favorable over renting.
Written by Alexandria P. Anderson, is an author and realtor who helps clients to find and purchase Edina Minnesota real estate as well as Edina condos and houses in the Twin Cities.