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Finally, you’ve made the decision to move out of your parents’ house!
You’re officially going to be an independent woman making her own way (cheers to you, girl!). Now, it’s time to decide whether renting or buying is the best decision for you.
Of course, renting is best if you don’t have much savings because you need savings to own a home!
My number one tip before anything else?
If you can, try to live with your parents for as long as you can to allow yourself some time to save up. I live in New York and the process of trying to find a livable space within your budget and in the perfect area is HARD. Lay down the foundation for a stable career and a nice living while you get home-cooked meals in the meantime!
Keep reading for the pros and cons of both renting and buying to get you closer to reaching that next milestone in your life!
- Time to Save for a House
As I mentioned previously, saving money to buy a house takes time. Either living with your parents paying reduced/no payments or renting a cheap apartment can be the first step to owning a home!
Renting gives you some wiggle room to save money to own your own home. Also, this allows you time to determine where you want to settle and how much you actually need to save for the type of home you want. Do your research on the housing market in your area and save, SAVE, SAVE!!!
- You Don’t Pay Taxes
Unlike owning your own home, you do not have to pay taxes on the place you’re renting. Taxes include property taxes, state taxes, local taxes, and school taxes.
Leave that all up to your landlord because girl, that is NOT your problem! Be glad because once you own a home it’s taxes galore (buy a house they said, it will be fun they said).
- Call the Landlord for Maintenance
A huge blessing with renting is being able to call someone else to fix up the things in your home when s*** gets real!
Toilet not flushing? Call the landlord. Bathtub not draining? Call the landlord. Bats flying around (this actually happened at my sorority house)? Call the landlord ASAP!! In any situation where you need help and calling your parents just isn’t an option just call the landlord because he’ll come and solve most of your housing issues.
Plus, you most likely won’t have to pay out-of-pocket fees for these services either! Win-win!
- Temporary Home
Renting provides flexibility that you don’t have with owning your own home. You can have a 6-month or 1-year lease and after that you can choose to renew it or choose to live somewhere else!
Renting gives you so much flexibility in changing your living arrangements if you end up changing job locations, hating your neighbors or your roommate, or just need a change in scenery.
You can pack up and leave at some point with no questions asked and sometimes you need that.
- Paying Off Someone Else’s House
If you’re renting someone else’s house, you’re most likely paying off the mortgage that they still owe! It’s rare that when you rent a house the owners have completely paid it off. They may have most of it paid off or none paid off and are looking for a change theirselves.
In all scenarios, the owners are making bank off of you!
The money from your paycheck is going straight into their pockets to feed them and grow their wealth. Not yours. You’re not investing in this property and you may even be paying the same amount that you would if you were owning it!
Renting is nice for a little while but you’re essentially throwing money away if you’re renting for an extended period of time.
- Temporary Home
If rent increases, if your landlord decides not want to renew your lease, or if your landlord decides to sell the house/building your living in, this could change everything! Changes to payments or uncertainty of where you’re going to live can add immense stress as who wants to be forced to leave their home!
Anything can happen and that’s frightening for most who don’t know where they would go if this happens!
- Limited Customizations
Renting is a lot like living in a dorm room.
Putting holes in the walls are frowned upon and repainting is a huge no-no! If you’re just looking for a place to sleep then this shouldn’t bother you too bad. On the other-hand, if you really have a need to express yourself then this can definitely cramp your style.
Painting over that puke green in your bathroom is just not going to happen. Either look for prettier rentals or keep working hard and save for a place you can decorate however you want.
- Pet limitations
Most rentals, at least in New York, say that you can only have certain types of pets or no pets at all! You may get lucky and find rentals that’ll let you own a pet but then they have restrictions on whether you can own a cat or a dog and if it’s a dog they can only be a certain size/weight.
If you already own pets this puts your apartment hunting at a hard stop! If you want pets in the future, it most likely won’t be at your current rental either.
Just be mindful when searching for rentals and make sure that if you want or own a pet that they’ll be allowed to live there!
- Free to Live However You Want
FREEEEEEDOMMMMMMMMM (scream it as loud as you can girl, you made it)!! Sure, you can paint all of the rooms! Yes, you can hang as many paintings in your art collection as you want! Of course, you can own a Rottweiler and even own TWO if you want! Every question, the answer is yes!
Do whatever the hell you want and live however you want because this place is YOURS! No one can tell you how to live your life, not your landlord and definitely not your parents.
Sit back, relax, and start planning how you want your house to look because the possibilities are now endless!
Even if you choose to own a home with your best friend or your romantic partner, there’s still plenty of room for privacy. There’s probably multiple bedrooms, living room areas, or just plenty of room to nurture your mental health when you need that moment of peace.
Also, you don’t have to hear your neighbors yelling at each other across the hall or the ones running back and forth in the apartment above you (who really knows what goes on in the apartments upstairs?).
You have space and peace of mind. What more can anyone ask for?
As long as you pay your mortgage and pay your taxes, you’re pretty much here to stay. There’s no worries about renewing your apartment lease or having to find a new place if you decide not to renew.
You’re stable and can begin building roots here whether it’s as a woman finding peace with owning her own place or as a woman growing with someone else.
You can build and re-build here!
- Build investment equity
When you own a home, it’s essentially a little piece of the world that’s just for you. This is one of your most valuable assets now. Your home equity can increase over time as you pay down on your mortgage!
Home equity is the “interest” you have in a home as a homeowner. The more “interest” you have in a home, the more equity you have and that’s what you WANT!
For example, you buy a home for $350,000. The bank loans you $280,000 and you put a down payment of $70,000. Yes, you own this home but technically you only own 20% of it as that it how much interest you have invested in this property.
It can take some time but the more payments you make, the more equity you build in your home and the more you save in the long-term as the value of your home rises!
- Return on Investment
Usually when you buy a home, the value of that home will continue to grow. This is called appreciation and happens during the natural life cycle of a home. Also, as young adults eager to make changes and have everything to be just how we want it, there are plenty of renovations to be made so the actual structural value of your home increases as well!
As the years go on, your house will be worth more and more. If you decide to move 10 years from now, you’ll most likely get back more than what you initially paid for your house!
There’s power in owning!
- You Become the Handyman
There’s no more landlord to call when you’re in a bind and need the grass mowed or a plumbing issue solved. You have to make those calls and you have to essentially take action to get it all done.
Invest in a lawn mower to cut your grass and some Liquid Plumr to tackle those draining issues because honestly…no one else is going to do it!
Research your local plumbers and landscaping businesses or even try to tackle some of these issues yourself. It may take some work and trial-and-error but that’s all part of the fun of homeowning. Luckily my boyfriend is a plumber (so is his dad, thank the lord) so we’re good in that department! Everything else though we had to actually do our homework and find great services for a low price.
- Paying Mortgage, Utilities, Home Insurance & Taxes
I mentioned that part of the renting pros was that you do not have to pay taxes. That is not the case with homeowning.
You must pay your mortgage, pay your utilities that may have previously been covered in your rental, and pay taxes. This includes school taxes REGARDLESS of if you have children who attend school or not!
- High Upfront Costs
When buying a home, you need to keep in mind that you need to have enough money saved for the down payment, closing costs, and unexpected fees, such as paying for a home inspection. Try speaking with a realtor to get more of an idea of what these costs look like in the areas you’re looking to buy so you’re not caught off guard by unexpected payments.
Also, a lot of people think you need to have 20% saved for a down payment but this a myth! You can still buy a house with as little as a 3% down payment (depending on if you’re qualified for an FHA loan)!
So this can definitely help with lowering the costs going towards the down payment but closing costs can still be as high as $20,000, for example, not including the fees you have to pay for an inspection and to close on your house (i.e. lawyer fees).
I cannot stress saving enough but SAVE as much as you can! Even if you qualify for an FHA loan, keep that extra money saved for additional fees and to furnish your home!
Whether you decide to rent an apartment or buy a home, make sure your finances are in order. Determine which one makes sense for your life right now and if you need to save more. If renting is the best option right now until you’re more stable then wait.
If owning a home is what feels right and you can afford it then go for it! I did as soon as I got the chance! Once you make your decision and are ready to furnish your place, check out how to transform your home into your own relaxing retreat!
Make it a goal and work for it as the only thing stopping you is you.
What do you think is an advantage of renting or buying your own home? What helped you make your decision on whether to rent or to own?