As we embark on our careers and start a family, many young adults choose to invest their hard-earned money by buying their very first home. It’s an exciting period with a lot of learning involved; from finding the right place to buy, to getting the right kind of insurance, and selling it again a few years later.
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In the meantime, however, you’ll see the same generation choosing to rent instead of buying – and they claim to have made the right decision.
While we can’t choose for you, we can show you the pros and cons of both options, so that you can find the one that works best for your lifestyle and finances.
Buy to build equity over time
Die-hard tenants can talk about the benefits of renting all they like, but they still won’t be able to build the kind of equity over time that homeowners can. You can always find another way to invest the money you would have spent on a home, though, and those who choose to buy are not joining some sort of exclusive investment club.
By renting, you’ll be paying down on someone else’s mortgage which is exactly why many people choose to buy instead.
Keep in mind that equity does not equal automatic profit, and the area you’ve chosen to invest in may very well take a dip in value over time. Renting your home may not build equity, but there’s also no risk involved as you can pack up and move when the street turns student-friendly.
Relocation is easier for tenants
Those who love the freedom of simply giving a few weeks’ notice before packing up their stuff and head to Thailand to work for a year or so would never consider buying a place. Sure, you can become a landlord and find tenants – but it’s tricky to maintain a place when you’d like to trot the globe instead.
Not only can you stay flexible and volatile when it’s time to head abroad, but you can easily upgrade to one of those fancy city apartments without having to go through the hassle of selling first.
Responsibility for maintenance
While owning your own home gives a lot of creative freedom as you may decorate and spruce it up as you please, you’ll also be the one in charge of taking care of whatever repairs and maintenance your home needs.
This can be quite expensive; it’s estimated that you’ll spend about 1 % of its total value each year on repairs.
The furniture in your home may also be yours to keep, but you can include the cost of keeping this up to date as well. Most rentals come furnished and, while you have to take reasonably good care of it, the wear and tear of living there won’t come off your paycheck.
Small families and those who plan on staying put for the next couple of years can really benefit from buying instead of renting. You’ll be involved in the community and feel that sense of belonging that is so important for small families; until then, don’t worry.