Should You Buy or Rent?
Buying and renting are totally different worlds. People sometimes think of buying as an upgrade from renting, but this isn't really true. For some people, renting makes more sense. For others, not buying a home is essentially missing out on an opportunity. Here are some things to consider about buying and renting to help you determine which one is good for you.
If you're interested in buying a home, you'll need to make sure you have some money saved up. The house you buy can be a great investment, but it can also come with unexpected costs that can be quite high. When your plumbing gets clogged, your heating goes out or a window gets broken, you won't have a landlord to call to fix it. Be sure you have money on hand so that you can pay for the costs of any unexpected repairs.
You gain equity when you make payments on a home, but you're also taxed on the value of the property that you've purchased. Remember that you'll have to have some extra money every month to cover the costs of taxes. You only pay once a year, of course, but it's easier to break down the total cost into a monthly expense.
If you're thinking about "flipping" a home to make money, you're thinking about real estate investing as opposed to buying a home. If you're not prepared to live in the home for 3 or more years, you may want to stay renting. It usually takes at least this long before you can sell it at a good profit. Flipping is for people who can afford to lose money on a home if the market prices drop.
Good Financial Sense
Owning a home is a huge responsibility. If you cannot manage your finances responsibly, you're not ready to manage the responsibilities of homeownership. Letting the house fall out of repair, not keeping up with insurance payments and other irresponsible behaviors can cost you in the short and long term future.
Most people who are smart about owning a home have two mortgage payments stashed in the bank at all times. You'll also want to make sure you have a good source of income that you can rely on. It's possible to lose any job, so having the extra stashed away is a great way to make sure you don't get into trouble financially.
Make sure you're ready to buy a home and to take on the responsibilities that come with it before you take the plunge. If you're ready, financially able and excited about being a homeowner, there are very real benefits. Sometimes, the costs can be unexpectedly high, but every bit of money you pay on the mortgage gives you equity in the home and that's a substantial benefit. You'll also be better established financially and that can make a real difference where getting credit and other financial aspects of your life are concerned. When you're ready, talk to a realtor about your options for buying.