Here are three reasons renting an apartment in Glen Allen, VA can be a smart move:
1. Rentals offer far more flexibility. Buying a home typically means committing to a 30-year mortgage. Most people don’t stay in a home for anywhere near that amount of time, but it’s much harder to pick up and move from a home you own than it is to leave a rental. “The hardest to quantify reason to rent is that it gives you a bit more mobility,” says Aron Szapiro, a policy and finance expert with HelloWallet. “Mobility has a real value in terms of being able to take a new job somewhere else and being able to control your commute.”
Even if you’ve gained enough equity to recoup the transactional costs of a property you’ve purchased, you’ll still be subject to the market when it comes to how rapidly you can sell the property. If there’s a chance you’ll need to move for work or you’re new to an area and not sure exactly which neighborhood is the right fit, renting for now makes the most sense.
2. Homes are one of the most illiquid assets out there. One of the great appeals of owning a home is the way that it acts as a forced savings vehicle as owners build equity over the years. The trouble is, that equity is often difficult and expensive to get to quickly if you need it. “You’ve got to assume that money is tied up for a long period of time and you’re not going to be able to access it,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.
If you don’t have an emergency fund or significant, accessible assets outside of real estate, buying a home may be more financially risky.
3. You’re not financially ready. If you’ve got significant debt already or are planning to make a small down payment in order to purchase a property, it may make more sense to wait until you’re in better financial shape. It has gotten marginally easier to get approved for a mortgage, and there are now FHA loans available to those who want to put as little as 3 percent down on a property. But doing so will trigger the need for mortgage insurance, which can notably drive up the cost of a loan. It may make sense to simply wait another year or two and focus on paying off your debt and getting your credit in better shape, rather than rushing to buy now.