If you are looking to make a move, then the question of whether to buy or rent has no doubt crossed your mind. Choosing between the two isn’t as straightforward as it might first appear, and personal circumstances are going to play a huge part in your decision.
However, there are one or two things that you can bear in mind which will help you make the right call over whether buying or renting is the best option for you at present. The best way for us to structure our advice is start off by giving you a list of benefits from both options. Let’s take a look.
1. Lower transactional costs
Choosing to rent will likely mean that you will have to put down a deposit before you can move into the property. While this can be a tidy amount of cash, it is nothing when you compare it to the cost of buying a property.
Stamp duty, surveyors and solicitors’ fees, not to mention the hefty mortgage deposit, all have to found when purchasing a property. Opting for a tenancy, on the other hand, cuts down your initial costs significantly.
When renting, your ongoing expenses are far more predictable than if you were to own your own home. Things such as repairs and replacements will be down to your landlord, so if you are running on a tight budget, opting to rent may be best for you at present.
Being able to move quickly may suit you if you are planning to relocate for work or study at some point in the near future. Many contracts will have a 6-month break clause in them, giving you the freedom to either move elsewhere or buy in the area you are renting in if you now feel that the time is right for you to do so.
4. Fewer responsibilities and risks
As a tenant, all you need to concentrate on is paying your rent and that pretty much covers the extent of your financial responsibilities. No worries about interest rises or, heaven forbid, not being able to meet your monthly mortgage repayments, which will risk losing your home altogether.
1. You’re making an investment
Providing that you opt for a repayment mortgage, as opposed to an interest only mortgage, you will be putting money into what will later become a valuable asset for you and your family. Paying off your landlord each month when you are renting may give you an element of convenience, but it is also largely regarded as ‘dead money’ as you will get no benefit from it other than receiving a roof over your head for that given month.
Of course, the value of your home can go down as well as up, but once your mortgage is paid off you will still have something tangible in your possession. Alternatively, those who choose to rent will never stop paying out a considerable chunk of their income each and every month.
Owning your own home comes with a certain amount of peace of mind. Ask anyone who has had a cheery landlord phone them out of the blue and drop the bombshell that they’ll need to be out of their home in two months’ time and they will tell you what we mean.
This, is the unfortunate flipside to the flexibility benefit mentioned above. However, owning a property means exactly that; it’s yours and no one can tell you to leave at short notice.
3. You call the shots
Another advantage of owning the property that you live in is the fact that you can do with it what you please (within reason and your local authority’s planning team’s tolerances!).
Want to paint the living room lime green? Knock yourself out. Need to put up a dozen shelves for your collection of miniature daleks? You go right ahead. You’re free to do as you wish.
Even things such as keeping pets can be a no-no if you are renting, but owning your own home gives you far more freedom to be you.
4. More cost-effective
Despite renting probably being cheaper over the short-term, when looked at things from a long-term perspective, buying your own home is likely to work out as being the most cost-effective option.
Providing you find the right mortgage deal when you move in to your new home, the cost of buying can be significantly less if you know that you are going to be settling down there for some time.
Rental increases are happening all the time, whereas the amount of interest that you pay will decrease as the life of the mortgage shortens and you move towards the day when you can finally say that you really own your own home.
Now that you know the benefits of both renting and buying a home, you’ll likely have a better idea of which one will suit you best. However, if you think you should buy, there is one further question that you’ll need to ask yourself in order to make certain that the decision is the right one for you:
What savings do I have?
This is the proverbial elephant in the room and it’s usually the stumbling block for those who wish to get themselves on to the property ladder. It is highly likely that you will need at least 10 per cent of the value of the property that you wish to purchase in savings if you are going to buy your own home.
There are ways that you can get a home with less, such as one of the government’s assistance programs, but for those looking to buy without help, 10 per cent is going to be the minimum.
The other thing to take into account when looking at your savings is the amount of money left over after you have put aside your deposit. Unfortunately, the expenses associated with buying a home do not end with the deposit alone. Other things such as Stamp Duty, legal fees, and even removal costs, need to be taken into consideration, too.
As we mentioned at the top of the article, only you know your own personal circumstances and only you can make the decision over whether or not you should buy or rent. However, with the information laid out above, you will now be in a far better position to make that choice and get the outcome that you want from it.