Renting To Own: Difference Between Buying & Renting

By comparing buying vs renting a home, you will gain the ability to make an informed decision on whether or not to invest in the purchase of a home.

Renting and buying both have their advantages and drawbacks. The right choice for you is based upon several factors, including your finances, goals and other preferential factors.

When asking, “Should I rent or buy a house?” one of the most commonly asked questions is, “Which option would be the cheaper one?” When considering the cost of homeownership, many prospective homebuyers do not consider the expenses that they will pay in addition to mortgage-related costs.

It is common for renters to have at least one utility paid for by a landlord, while homeowners must pay all utilities themselves. Additionally, homeowners will face maintenance-related expenses that renters will not. Yet owning your own home builds equity, so the answer is not always cut and dry.

Considerations in Renting vs Buying a House

If you are wondering, “Is it better to rent or buy a house?” then it is essential to outline the key factors that will help you make this decision.

The purchase of a home is a significant investment. Whether or not you should make this investment is determined by several factors, including:

  • Your financial ability, including the amount of house you can afford vs the amount of house that you need.
  • The length of time that you intend to stay in the home were you to purchase one.
  • If you would prefer stability or flexibility.
  • Your current goals, including career, family and financial goals.
  • If you wish to be responsible for the home maintenance and repairs that all homeowners face.

While considering each of these factors, it is essential that you also take the time to consider the advantages and disadvantages or renting and buying, the cost and other aspects that will factor into your decision.

The Cost to Rent or Buy a House

If asking, “Is it cheaper to rent or buy a house?” it is essential that you learn more about the factors that will influence your answer. These include:

  • Where you live.
  • The amount of house you want to purchase.
  • The mortgage you will qualify for.

When you rent an apartment, your housing will likely include the rental fees that you pay to your landlord, some or all of your utilities and other potential expenses such as renter’s insurance. However, the amount you will pay in all of those fees will vary based upon:

  • The size of the rental property or unit.
  • The rental costs within that community with costs often higher in densely populated areas.

When looking at renting vs buying a house, it is essential to compare the prices of renting and purchasing property within the community you want to buy or rent in. If you buy a home, your homeownership expenses will include:

  • Your mortgage, which will be determined by your mortgage terms, including your interest rate and whether or not your rate is fixed or a variable.
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI), which lenders generally require if you put less than 20 percent down on a home.
  • Homeowner’s insurance.
  • Utility fees.
  • Home maintenance and repairs costs.
  • Taxes and fees.

Therefore, an individual who has a low debt-to-income ratio and a high credit rating will likely pay less for homeownership compared to an individual with poor credit, low income or a high debt-to-income ratio.

Other Crucial Factors of Buying vs Renting a Home

When determining whether you should rent or buy a house, it is crucial that you review other key factors.

Homeownership will allow you to build equity. If you purchase a home and the home’s value increases, you will have a higher value later if you choose to sell your home. Moreover, you may be able to deduct your mortgage interest on your taxes and even qualify for tax breaks depending on your mortgage program.

Renting vs buying a home will also come down to the level of work you are willing to put into a home. Home repairs and maintenance can be costly and inconvenient. When renting, it is generally your landlord’s responsibility to manage the property. However, as a homeowner, these costs and responsibilities will fall onto you. This will not only include any sudden need for repairs, but seasonal maintenance tasks that you will have to commit to.

Finally, where you currently are in your life goals can influence whether or not you should purchase a home. For example, if you are looking to move a year or two from now or you are in the middle of a divorce, purchasing a home is likely not going to be the best option for you. If your current lifestyle or goals demand flexibility, renting may be a better option for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting vs Buying a Home

When considering renting vs buying a house factors and comparisons, it can be essential to simply review the potential advantages and disadvantages of each choice. In doing so, you can make a more informed decision on whether you should purchase or rent a home based upon your own circumstances and factors.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Home

There are several advantages to buying vs renting a home. The following are some perks to home ownership:

  • A greater sense of stability.
  • Potential tax credits and other tax-related benefits.
  • You can improve, upgrade, or modify your home at your own discretion.
  • You will not have a landlord that makes rules for your home.
  • You can potentially build credit and equity.

However, there are also certain downsides to owning your home. For instance, houses often require a substantial amount of money up front to cover down payment, closing costs and other related expenses. Moreover, you could potentially experience a loss of money if the value of your home declines. In addition, you are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of your home.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Renting a Home

Just as with buying a home, residents who renting vs buying a house experience a number of benefits. For instance, they pay fewer upfront costs compared to buyers and have a greater amount of flexibility. Furthermore, renters are not responsible for any repairs or maintenance.

There are a certain drawbacks to renting. For instance, your landlord will ultimately determine if you can renew your lease. Additionally, rental choices may be limited, and you will likely need to move more than if you were to own your own home.