Almost as age-old a question as the chicken-or-egg scenario is whether to rent or buy a home. Maybe in generations past this was a straightforward proposition, but modern times have redefined what it means to own property. The financial collapse of 2008 was tied directly to the real estate industry, which ended up decimating the global economy. Many unemployed or underemployed folks who did own homes were forced to sell at a loss, watching all the equity they thought they had built evaporate into thin air.
But even though the economy is rebounding, recent history informs the reality of today whether it’s best to rent or buy. Here are some other considerations at work in the decision-making process.
The Basics Still Apply
Despite upticks and downswings in economies, whether or not to buy a home is still mostly a matter of practicality. Every situation is unique, therefore every individual (or couple) thinking about making the leap needs to think in terms of their own dollars and cents. And even if it ultimately looks like renting is the only feasible option, that doesn’t mean folks can’t start laying the groundwork for a future property purchase. Those who’d like a more detailed roadmap can check out this helpful flowchart provided by Business Insider.
The Freedom of Renting
One thing renting does offer is freedom. Those who find themselves moving around a lot will likely want to consider this option—as well as keeping a reputable moving service, such as Allied Movers on speed dial. Also, since most lease agreements are of the 12 and 24-month variety, they allow the renter a chance to get to know their neighborhood before making a firm commitment to settle in permanently.
One by-product of the recession is the rise in popularity of renting homes with the option to buy down the line. This is due to a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the real estate downturn left many homes empty and many folks with bad credit. Now, developers are eager to reinvest in their communities and get people back in their properties. And the best way to do this is to offer easy move-in options, such as rent to buy. This is also a great track for those buyers looking to quickly flip a home.
Fixed-rate Mortgages Still Reign Supreme
One factor that may often swings the decision in favor of home ownership is whether or not a fixed-rate mortgage is available. If it is, buyers are guaranteed stability via the frozen costs, and more often than not this makes more sense than renting over time. The major thing to consider, though, is whether the down payment is prohibitively expensive and wipes out all financial reserves of the buyer, or if that money would be better spent in the stock market and accumulating a favorable return over time.
These are just a few things to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy. Indeed, many of the above points suggest that in this day and age, post-recession, renting is an attractive option for those without endless supplies of cash.