It’s the eternal dilemma: Should you rent an apartment in Glen Allen, VA or should you take the plunge into homeownership and buy a house?
The reality is that there is no simple answer. What’s right for your friends may not be right for you.
Here are some common questions that are frequently asked:
Q: How can we know when it’s best to rent and when it’s best to buy a house or a condo?
A: If you have to ask that question, it’s probably best to rent.
The decision to buy a house is typically motivated by common sense financial analysis, and if you haven’t yet reached that point, keep renting.
Q: So, are there any reasons to rent?
A: Yes, there are a number of good reasons to rent your home:
Cash flow — Renting may leave you with more leftover cash each month, allowing you to build your savings to a comfortable level before making a large cash commitment to buying real estate.
Flexibility — While renting, you retain the ability to make a major change in your living situation easily and without major cost. At the end of your lease, you can move to another community or even another city!
Building credit — If your credit has been damaged, making on time rental payments can help build and improve your credit score, allowing you to eventually qualify for a lower cost borrowing experience.
No repair costs — In most cases your landlord is responsible for repairs, freeing you from the financial drain of a new roof, a burned out water heater, or a faulty furnace or air conditioner. These expenses are real and they are major. Building them into your rent can save you cash.
Q: So you are saying that it’s usually best to rent your house or apartment?
A: Not necessarily. In fact, there are a number of compelling reasons to consider buying a house or condo right now. Here are some of the best:
A good rule of thumb is that if you intend to stay in your property for less than four to five years, you may be better off renting.
The bottom line is that there is no perfect choice. Only you can decide what’s right for you. Explore your options, understand the likely outcomes, then take action as you see fit.
Home ownership is not right for everyone. The recent recession proved that decisively.