Houses are among the biggest investments for adults. That is why it is important to carefully study the two options of renting vs buying and go for the one that is most convenient for your situation. No single option is best for everyone, but most people will find renting a lot cheaper and more convenient in the long-term. Home ownership is not available for everyone, and the many hidden costs will end up becoming a burden to you. There are various critical details you need to consider when choosing between renting and buying a house. We will cover all that you need to know when making this crucial decision.
The main consideration in the renting vs buying argument is the total costs. In the long-term, renting is always a lot cheaper than buying a house. Renting involves these costs:
- Security deposit- This is usually equal or slightly higher than the monthly rent.
- Non-refundable deposit- Some landlords charge a non-refundable deposit on top of the security deposit.
- Monthly rent that is payable to property managers in St. George on behalf of building owners
- Renter’s insurance- Renters are not required to take this insurance, but it is always wise to insure your property against theft or other losses.
On the other hand, buying a home involves these costs:
- Ernest money- This is usually about 2 percent of the price of the home.
- Down payment- The exact amount varies depending on several factors. Typically, you can expect to part with anything between 3 and 20 percent.
- Home inspection costs- Often, inexperienced home buyers will fail to notice defects in the house. That is why it is advisable to enlist the services of a professional home inspector.
- Property tax for the period between the closing date and the end of the present tax period.
- Homeowners Insurance- This is dependent on your credit score, the value of the home, style, location, and contents of the property. The insurance company will also consider the policy deductibles and the coverage limits.
- Credit report fee, flood certification fee, transfer taxes, recording taxes, and many other closing expenses. In some instances, the seller of the property will agree to pay part of the closing costs.
- Monthly loan payments- The mortgage is typically paid over a period of 15 to 30 years
- Private mortgage insurance- In cases where the down payment is less than 20 percent of the total value of the house, you may be required to take out private mortgage insurance. This payment is meant to cushion your mortgage provider from losses in case your home is foreclosed.
- Home maintenance- As the owner, you have to handle the repairs yourself. Usually, the monthly maintenance costs total to about 1 percent of the value of the house.
- Remodeling and furnishing.
Generally, the upfront, recurring, and total costs of owning homes are much higher than those of renting.
In the renting vs buying dilemma, you need to consider your future relocation needs. Buying a house means you are confined to a single location for a long period. Renters can flexibly move between towns, states, and countries as they see fit. In case you want to move as a home owner, you will have to organize a sale of your house.
It is likely that you may need to relocate in a hurry, and this will make you sell the house at a much lower price and incur a great loss. If you bought the house using a mortgage, you might end up being greatly inconvenienced. It is advisable to only buy a house if you intend to stay in it for a long time. That way, if you need to move, you are more likely to sell it at a desirable price. This will help you cover the costs you incurred in owning the house.
People who need to move around, probably because of job transfers, are better off renting houses as opposed to buying. If you don’t think you will stay at a single location for more than 3 years, you should consider renting.
Return on Investment
Buying always seems like a better option because the property is expected to appreciate over time. Historically, it has been proven that houses do not always increase in value over a period. If you consider the many hidden costs involved in home ownership, it will be clear that buying homes is far from a good investment.
As a renter, you will not have worries of fluctuations in the property market. Maintenance and recurring costs of the house are also not your concern.
Cost of Utilities
In some places, utilities are paid for by the homeowner. That is burdensome to the property owner and eases the financial stress of the renter. Utilities include air conditioning and cable television.
Your Credit Score
It is important to consider your credit score when making the renting vs buying decision. Many mortgage providers will offer you expensive loans if you have a poor credit score. With most lenders, credit scores under 700 are considered substandard and you will have to accept products with very high-interest rates. Many times, you will not even be able to access the expensive loans.
On the other hand, landlords do not usually take your credit score seriously. In any case, it will not affect the amount of rent you pay. Even with a poor credit score, you will still find people willing to rent out their units to you. That said, many landlords will not offer loans to people with bankruptcies in their credit reports.
Maintenance and Repairs
Home owners have the responsibility to maintain and furnish their homes. These costs pile up over time and can become a major source of stress for them. Renters are never required to handle repairs of the structures they live in. Instead, they inform the landlords or superintendents in case certain things need fixing.
Renting vs buying of houses is always a tough decision to make. To simplify your dilemma, you should consider the costs, your need to relocate, and your credit score. Failure to carefully think about these three points can lead you into making a regrettable decision.