Buying versus renting is an age old debate. Proponents on both sides of the spectrum will argue till their blue in the face (and you’re red in the face!) to convince you. But right or wrong, this is an issue that everyone needs to face at some point in their lives.
So what’s at stake and what should you be looking for as a homeowner/potential homeowner/perpetual renter? Here are some tips to help make your decision a little easier (though also harder):
1) If there are savings to be had from buying, they’re shrinking. Over seven years it’s about 6% more expensive to buy than it was last year.
2) Buying means broker’s commissions, legal fees, closing costs, etc. Renting usually involves insurance and agent commissions.
3) Buying usually means staying put for a while, though that’s mainly true in more rural areas than high traffic areas like New York.
4) Mortgage rates are pretty good right now so buying seems promising, though that could change in the coming years.
5) Rising home prices can mean a nice payoff for buying . . . or encourage renting if you’re pushing off your purchase right now.
These tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg when it comes to this debate. In the end you need to be happy where you are and let the money come in second. So find your slice of happiness and make it your own . . . at least for now.