Renting vs. Buying
a Home

When is the "right" time?

When is the "right" time?

Are you contemplating the decision to rent or buy a home? It's definitely a defining moment in most people's lives and worthy of careful consideration. The financial aspects play a large role in the decision, but you should also consider your lifestyle.

The following collection of Pros & Cons, the Lifestyle Survey, as well as the Rent vs. Own Comparison Calculator will help get you started!

Mobility Relocate easily Stability
Financial Obligation None, unless terminating a lease early Must sell to relocate; length of time to sell can vary on market conditions
Contracts Requires lease; may require cosigner; can incur penalties for breaking terms Requires qualifying for a mortgage; terms vary on length, interest rate, qualifications, etc.
Payments Rent can increase yearly; penalties for late payment Typically consistent payments but variable rate loans may increase/decrease; penalties for late payment
Deposits Varies based on lease; may or may not be refundable None
Down Payment None Varies based on mortgage requirements
Maintenance/Repairs Little or no maintenance required Self maintenance or hire maintenance
Maintenance Costs None or very little Responsible for all
Insurance Highly recommended to cover property contents Required by the lender
Property Taxes None Yes
Tax Benefits None Deduct mortgage interest and property taxes

Lifestyle Survey

Are you ready to own your own home? Ask yourself these questions.

  • Do you need the freedom to move quickly if you take a new job?
  • Are you settled and satisfied you'll remain in the same town for quite some time?
  • Does your income fluctuate frequently?
  • Do you have a steady income?
  • Does your job take you out of town frequently, prohibiting you from doing repairs or maintaining a yard?
  • Do you have the skills and common tools necessary to do your own home repairs? Can you afford to hire maintenance?
  • Do you have children who will soon be entering school?
  • Do you wish to make your home truly "your own"?
  • Do you wish to take advantage of the tax benefits associated with home ownership?
  • Are you able to save for a down payment?
  • Do you have good credit or are you willing to make the effort to repair your credit record?

Will Buying Save You Money?

As a renter, your rent may be less than or about the same amount as a mortgage payment. But the tax benefits associated with owning a home can amount to significant savings. Try this Rent vs. Own Comparison Calculator to compare the prices for renting versus buying a home.