Find your renting vs. ownership sweet spot
The continuing housing crisis and movement of homeowners into the rental market has a lot of people considering a change. Longtime renters see opportunities to buy, and homeowners who have stayed the course wonder if now is the time to get out. If you have options open and are not sure which way you want to go, compare the advantages and disadvantages to each case and then make your decision.
Renting is probably for you if:
You don’t want the hassle of maintenance. One of the biggest advantages to renting is the lack of responsibility. Plumbing breaks, not your problem; grass needs mowing, not your problem; leaky roof, not your problem; water heater blows up, not your problem… this list could go on forever. If the idea of not being financially responsible for common maintenance and repair costs sounds good to you, then renting is where you want to be. Keep certain things in mind when looking at apartments. Try this apartment checklist to help you out!
You want freedom to move. 12-month lease notwithstanding, renting gives you the enviable option to pick up and get the heck out of Dodge with admirable ease. If your finances take a hit, you can move somewhere cheaper; if a new job means big dough, you can escape to enjoy the high life. Some landlords will work with you if you want to break a lease, so there’s even hope for renters locked into the front of a long lease.
Home ownership may be for you if:
Prices and mortgage rates are enticing. Mortgage rates continue to explore record lows, and many markets are still looking for a price bottom as inventories skyrocket. If the price is right and you have the money, it’s hard to say no to a bargain.
Rents are insanely high. Some markets that are particularly hit hard by the housing crisis (Phoenix, Las Vegas, cities across Florida, San Francisco) are seeing rents go through the roof in response. If the crisis continues and more homeowners transform into renters, prices could continue to rise and make renting a comparatively unattractive option.
Find that sweet spot between what you want, what you need, and what makes the most objective sense. There are opportunities everywhere, so there is every reason to explore them if you want a change.