Making the Choice: Buy or Rent?


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Buying versus Renting

by Daniel Terwilliger

About Buying a Home

Why should I buy a house?

In today's troubled economic times, many wonder whether it makes more sense to buy or rent. There are many advantages to owning a home. Once you own it, it is yours to change, destroy, sell, etc. Over time the property value will increase. When you own a home, you get an increased feeling of stability and security. There is no landlord to maintain your property; you are the landlord.

Homeownership brings increased feelings of stability and security.

What problems should I know about?

When you own a house, you can't call the landlord for repairs — you are responsible for your own maintenance. You must pay property taxes on a regular basis, and this can be a large amount, especially on the Main Line. If you can't pay your mortgage, it may result in loss of your property, credit rating, and down payment. You may also have less mobility than you would if you were renting, as it may take time to sell it before you can move.

About Renting a Home

Why would I rent?

Renting a house is the act of borrowing a house for a set time with the agreement of paying over time (usually monthly). In renting, you may have little, or no responsibility for your maintenance. In other words, you can ask your landlord for repairs, but he may or may not take care of them in a timely manner. It is also easier to move from place to place which increases your choices of when and where to relocate.

What problems should I know about?

There is a possibility that your lease may not be renewed and so the landlord may take away your living space. And, although you pay every month, no property value is built up. The amount you pay for rent typically increases every year. Unlike a homeowner, you may not get any tax benefits.

Which is better?

Which is better really depends on your situation. If you plan on settling down for a while — living in one place for more than a year — buy a house. If you move around, rent.

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