Should you rent or buy a home?

Deciding to move home is a big decision. Even in times of economic uncertainty, people thinking about moving may be asking themselves whether they should rent or buy a home. The problem with trying to answer such a question is that any answer is unlikely to be straightforward. The answer will depend on personal circumstances. There are, however, some general points to consider that might help answer the question.

Why Buy?
Buying a home is a long-term investment. It offers you the chance to get on to the property ladder and has advantages, such as:

  • Once you’ve repaid the mortgage, you fully own your home
  • You can also make changes to your home (subject to planning regulations) without having to ask permission from the landlord
  • If the price of your house rises, you might end up making a profit if you decide to sell
  • You are setting down roots in the community

Depending on your circumstances, there could be other advantages in buying a home.

On the downside, buying a home does have disadvantages. The main one is that unlike renting, you are responsible for maintaining your home and all the costs that go with it. While buying a home may sometimes be cheaper than renting, any rise in interest rates could increase the cost of your mortgage repayments. It’s important to avoid overstretching your finances. Should you get behind with your mortgage repayments, it could have financial consequences. There is also the risk that you might lose your home as well.

Why Rent?
If you’re looking for flexibility, renting a home might be your best option. Unlike buying a home, renting is a lot quicker and easier. Unlike buying a home, renting does not have to be a long-term commitment. It’s possible to rent a place for a short or long term rental period. Renting offers several advantages. One of those being that it’s easier to move home if your circumstances change. Another advantage of renting a home is that you do not have to worry about the cost of any repairs needed. Unlike buying and owning your home, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to take care of the repairs.

Although renting offers you more flexibility, there are disadvantages that come with it. For example:

  • You will have to move out if the landlord decides that they are not going to renew your rental agreement when it ends
  • You will need to get permission from your landlord for anything from making changes to keeping pets in your home
  • You do not own the home

If you’re someone who wants to buy a home, a major disadvantage of renting is that the money you pay is going to your landlord. Depending on your circumstances, you may find it harder to save for a deposit as you have less money available.

Making the Decision
Knowing what the advantages and disadvantages are, this raises the question of how do you decide between renting or buying a home. Contacting an experienced letting agent such as JBS Letting, can help guide you in the right direction. Depending on personal circumstances, there are other factors to consider. These include asking yourself the following questions:

1. Can you afford to buy?
While you may be able to afford the mortgage repayments, there are other expenses you will need to plan for when buying a home. For example, will you be able to provide the deposit for the home? There are also legal and survey fees that need including in the costs. Depending on the type and size of the house, the costs could prove to be expensive.

2. Your financial circumstances
In times of economic uncertainty, the interest rate could increase. Because of this, you might have to make larger mortgage repayments. When considering your options, it’s important to include in your budget any potential increases in mortgage costs. When making any decision, it’s essential to think about what you would do in the long-term if your financial circumstances were to change.

3. Your job
Your job can also affect any decision you make about whether to rent or buy a home. For example, are you in a profession where your skills would be in demand? If you were to lose your current job, how easy would it be for you to find a new job?

Should you buy or rent a home? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. While there are things you need to consider when deciding, your answer is very much a personal choice based on your circumstances.