Mortgage rates are low and many say it is time to buy a home. But is it more cost-effective to own as opposed to renting?
Many renters today have gotten out of a mortgage. Others are renting so they are not tied down to such a large amount every month. Some rent because they don’t have money for a down payment and still others rent because they prefer not to be tied down.
Whether you should rent or buy depends on many factors, like how long you plan to stay in your home. Some experts will tell you buying is better than renting, but only if you plan to be in your house more than five years. Still others will say renting is better and invest your down payment instead.
If you don't need the tax help, which is minimal, you may want to rent. The landlord will fix the kitchen sink and mow the lawn which saves the renter out of pocket money.
Here's one pro and con breakdown:
Pros to Buying a House:
- Of course, there's the emotional satisfaction of owning your own home.
- It builds equity, (but it takes awhile).
- You can get a tax break if you deduct your mortgage interest and your property taxes.
Cons to Buying a House:
- Homeowners have to pay property taxes
- Homeowners have to pay for maintenance and upkeep.
- There's less flexibility if you decide to move.
- Down payments are often 20% of the purchase price (if you want to avoid mortgage insurance). That's money that could have been invested elsewhere.
Lastly, most experts say the value of properties won't go up soon. When they do, since selling your house with a realtor normally comes with a 6% commission, values must go up by at least 6% to break even.
Buying at today doesn't necessarily mean your house will be worth more in a couple of years. Whether it's worth the risk to buy is something each person needs to figure out for their unique situation.