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Is it Better to Buy or Rent Your Next House?

Young couple going through a checklist before moving out

When you’re looking at moving into a new house, you have to decide between renting and buying. Both options have their pros and cons, which means it can often be difficult to decide which is best for your family, especially if you don’t know what positives and negatives of each are. Below, we’ve weighed the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

Renting vs Buying: The Pros and Cons

Renting

  • Renting your house gives you a lot of flexibility. This option makes a lot of sense if you don’t know where the next few years will take you. A job change or family concern may take you to another state, and renting affords you the ability to move without a long-term commitment.
  • You also have less responsibility as you aren’t accountable for finding a new tenant when you move out.
  • Finally, renting is also a less expensive option thanks to lower insurance costs and lower monthly housing costs.

However, there is also a downside to renting.

  • Because you’re not the owner, you risk fluctuating payments each time you renew your lease.
  • You also cannot make any major changes to the property without the landlord’s approval, which means less freedom as a tenant.
  • Unfortunately, if you rent from an individual owner, it may also mean dealing with a rental agent. Some landlords who use their rental property as a secondary income will opt for using rental agents to handle the property responsibilities. This often means a longer waiting time on resolving issues since the chain of communication is longer.
  • And because the property isn’t yours, there’s no return on investment when you move out.

Buying

  • While buying a house is incredibly expensive upfront, it’s a good long-term investment. Even if the house itself loses value over time, the land it sits on may increase.
  • Owning property also means better privacy and control since you are able to make renovations you couldn’t as a renter.
  • Monthly payments are more stable as well, particularly if you choose a fixed-rate mortgage. This means you won’t have to worry about your mortgage payments increasing every year unlike renters (your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, however, may increase, but not nearly as frequently as rent payments can).
  • There’s a greater life stability as a homeowner, because you likely move less frequently than someone who rents.

Of course, there are also some downsides to buying a house versus renting one.

  • The expensive upfront costs is one of the most obvious downsides to owning a house instead of renting. Many of us aren’t as prepared as we think for the cost of a home. Experts suggest having 20% of the home cost for a down payment so you can get the best interest rate. But because the average American only has 6-12% in savings, the monthly costs of owning a home are generally more than renting.
  • You also must deal with slow growing equity because your first few years of payments go toward paying off the interest.
  • As the homeowner, you also have to incur any maintenance expenses while renters can rely on the landlord.
  • When you eventually sell your home in the future, you may experience a slow sale. Your home will have a lot of value, but they normally do not sell quickly, meaning that while your home sits on the market, you’ll still be paying the mortgage on it.

Make Your Move Easier with Self Storage Plus

Whether you choose to rent or buy your new home, you may find yourself in between places temporarily. If that happens, you can rely on a self-storage facility like Self Storage Plus to keep your belongings. Located in the Greater Washington, DC and Baltimore area, we offer features such as climate-controlled self-storage units for your more temperature-sensitive items. We also have vehicle storage options if you’re a multi-car family and your temporary place only allows one vehicle.

Reserve your storage unit today to see how self-storage can make a difference for your family!

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P.O. Box 25523

Washington, DC 20027

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