From the day that you move out of your family house, you dream of the day when you finally stop paying rent and buy your first home. But, as you may have discovered, buying a home is not quite as simple as it seems! There is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to make the move into homeownership.
By buying a house, you’ll be taking on all the pros of being a homeowner versus a renter. But you’ll also be taking on quite a bit of responsibility and giving up on some of the advantages that come with being a tenant. That’s why, before you start your home search, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both renting and buying to decide whether or not you’re ready to become a first time homeowner.
Should You Buy or Rent: The Pros & Cons of Each
Repairs & Maintenance
First up in our comparison is every adult’s favourite topic of discussion about the home—repairs. As a tenant, the only thing you have to do when it comes to ongoing repairs and maintenance around the home and yard is call the landlord. They are typically responsible for taking care of any work that needs to be done—unless you’ve discussed an alternate arrangement—so you can just sit back and relax.
As a homeowner, though, repairs and ongoing maintenance are entirely your own responsibility. You’ll need to not only figure out what is wrong all on your own, but you’ll also be in charge of either fixing it yourself or calling in a professional to do it for you, costing you both time and money.
Decorating & Design
If you’ve ever wanted to switch up the light fixtures or even just paint a wall as a tenant, chances are you’ve experienced the headache of getting anything approved with your landlord. Since you don’t own the home as a renter, you need to ask permission from the owner before making any lasting changes. Otherwise, you could end up with a missing damage deposit when it comes time to move out.
If you own your home, though, any decor or design changes you wish to make, you can simply do! That picture-perfect bathroom accent wall you saw on Pinterest? Throw on some coveralls and get to work! The three-tiered deck you’ve been dreaming of? Stop by the hardware store and start building! The sky is your limit in your own house (well...the sky and your budget, of course!).
Decided you don’t like the neighbours and want to make a move? As a rental property tenant, just give your landlord the appropriate notice that you’ll be moving out and leave it all behind! As a homeowner, though, you’ll either need to sell the house to turn it into a rental property of your own to make a change.
Paying Rent vs Paying a Mortgage
While both renting and owning require you to make a monthly payment, they aren’t quite the same. Rent is similar to paying for a hotel room—it is an agreement between you and the property owner that you will financially compensate them for allowing you to stay in their space. A mortgage is more like making payments on your car—the more payments you make, the more of the home you own. This is called equity.
Another difference between the two payments is the amount being paid. Depending on the rental agreement between you and your landlord, your rent could be subject to change at your landlord’s discretion. This could leave you with a rent you can suddenly no longer afford, should an increase happen at the time of renewal. With a fixed-rate mortgage, though, you are guaranteed the same payments for the entire length of your term!
If you have a furry friend like me, you are no stranger to the struggle of finding a pet-friendly rental property. Most rentals don’t even allow for pets and those that do, often require an additional deposit on top of your down payment. But if you own your home, you can have as many pets as you want, no deposits or approvals required!
Every landlord is required to purchase insurance for their rental properties that can cover the home in a variety of ways. This doesn’t, however, include any of your possessions as the renter. If you are renting a property, you have the option of purchasing your own tenant’s insurance to cover your belongings in the home, but it isn’t required! On the other hand, as a homeowner, you are required to purchase home insurance to protect your property.
Other Differences Between Renting & Buying
Tax Benefits - Every interest payment a homeowner makes on their mortgage is a tax deduction later!
Security - Owning a home, the only ones who have a key to your property are those you’ve given them to. As a renter, though, your landlord also has access at any time, along with anyone they’ve given a key to.
Appliances - As a renter, you are subject to whatever appliances are in the home, which may not be quite what you want. As a homeowner, you can choose whatever appliances fit your preferences and budget!
As a renter, you’ll never have the pride and autonomy that comes with home ownership, but there are quite a few advantages to renting that may be better suited for your lifestyle right now. So before making the switch, take some time to seriously consider the benefits and disadvantages of each to decide which is right for you.
And if buying a home is where your heart is at, though, I’m happy to help! Contact me and let’s get started on finding you your dream home today!