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  • Writer's pictureMeghan Thrasher

Owning vs. Renting a Home

Updated: Mar 9

The question of whether it's better to buy or rent a home (or apartment, condo, etc.) is an age-old question that tends to get quick blanket responses that are not necessarily true in every situation. You have likely heard someone say that owning is better because you build equity instead of throwing away money every month on rent.

You have also likely heard someone say that renting is better because you don't have to worry with all the maintenance costs, and you can have a better sense of what your monthly expenses will be. The reality is that owning and renting can both be better depending on one's circumstances.

Owning might be beneficial if some or all of these are true:

  • You don't mind fixing things yourself.

  • You have strong preferences about paint colors, floor types/colors, appliances, landscaping, etc.

  • You plan to stay for at least 7 - 10 years, and the real estate appreciation rate is going up in your area.

  • You have a lot of cash to put down on the house (i.e. you would save in interest expenses).

  • You like to have a strong voice in your neighborhood.

  • You like the pride of owning property.

Renting might be beneficial if some or all of these are true:

  • You prefer that someone else deal with major repairs and upgrades.

  • You don't plan to live in the location for very long.

  • You travel frequently and are seldom home.

  • You prefer more regular and predictable monthly expenses.

  • You prefer flexibility.

When considering whether to buy or rent, there are two primary factors that come into play. One is financial, and the other is personal preference or lifestyle.

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