Renting vs. Owning is one of the greatest debates consumers face. What are the pros and cons of each? Which option is cheaper? What is better for my current lifestyle? These are some of the questions renters face when trying to decide whether home-ownership is the right choice for them.
Contrary to popular belief, renting may not actually be cheaper than owning your own home. Rent prices are on the rise and starting to exceed the cost of a mortgage payment, and there are many other benefits to home-ownership that you may not have thought of, such as investment opportunity, tax deduction, stability, and freedom.
Some people say investing in a home is risky; but with no risk, there is no reward. Studies conducted by the Federal Reserve have shown that owning can provide a net worth that is from several to hundreds of times higher than that of renters. When you own, improving your home increases its value. When you rent, improvements only increase value for your landlord. Ultimately, paying rent will only get you a roof over your head. There are virtually no benefits that paying rent offers beyond having a living space. Further, making mortgage payments on time helps build your equity and credit score.
Some people benefit from claiming deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes. Others find a standard deduction more valuable. Even if you exclude the tax benefit, the real cost of owning can still be less than renting.
Stability and Freedom
When you move into a home, it is something that is truly yours. You are free to decorate your environment as you please without worrying about restrictions from your landlord. By settling into a home, you will likely find yourself more involved in the community, whether that is through volunteering, participating in your home owners association, or simply establishing relationships with your neighbors. Renting is typically less stable than home-ownership and relationships with those around you tend to be avoided. Payments for a mortgage can be consistent with a fixed-rate mortgage, making the payment process easier.
So, with the cost of rent on the rise, finally taking that leap into home-ownership may be well within your means and could prove to be beneficial.