Renting vs. Buying a Home

Written By: Adam Ritter, Local Market Expert

January 28, 2019

Are you tired of putting money towards rent that you’ll never see again? Or maybe you need to upgrade to a larger home that will better fit your family? If you’re thinking about buying a house, you might be wondering if now is the right time to do so. The decision of renting vs. buying a home involves everything from your finances to lifestyle to career plans. Let’s walk through some of the main factors to consider.

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Reasons to Buy a Home

For starters, there are many financial benefits of homeownership. In most parts of the country, including Texas, the average monthly mortgage payment is significantly cheaper than the average monthly rent payment. [1] Even better, monthly payments towards your mortgage help you build valuable equity in your home. This equity, along with potential increases in your property’s value, can make your home a great investment that you can eventually cash out when you sell.

Beyond the numbers, there are other perks of renting vs. buying a home. For example, owning your home gives you the power to customize it to your tastes. You can do everything from painting the walls your favorite color to upgrading the kitchen countertops. As long as you keep up with your mortgage, homeownership also gives you long-term stability in your housing and its cost – there’s no risk of a landlord increasing your rent or evicting you for no reason. Lastly, becoming a homeowner gives you an invaluable chance to settle down and put down roots in your community.

Reasons to Rent a Home

There are some cases when renting may be a better option for you. If you don’t plan to stay in the same area, whether that’s due to work, finances, or family circumstances, you’ll likely benefit from the flexibility of renting. However, if you do buy a home and later end up needing to relocate, you can avoid the stress of the traditional home sale process and sell the home to Perch. Perch will give you a market-price offer for your home in 24 hours, and you’ll be able to choose your closing date based on your schedule.

Another perk of renting is that all your living expenses roll into a single bill (excluding your security deposit and renter’s insurance). Your landlord is responsible for maintenance, property taxes, HOA fees, etc. While your rent price likely includes these costs, renting can save you the hassle of tracking them yourself. If these expenses unexpectedly increase, say if your boiler needs repairs, your landlord will cover it for you. If the cost of maintenance is detracting you from renting vs. buying a home, consider looking into Perch Certified Pre-Owned Homes. These properties are all recently renovated and pass a 150-point quality inspection, so they’re move-in ready for you and your family.

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Can You Afford to Buy?

Most current renters cite their lack of down payment savings as the main factor holding them back from homeownership. However, these renters might not know about low down payment options such as FHA and VA loans. These government-backed programs aim to help home buyers start investing and building equity sooner.

Example: Let’s say you find the perfect house in San Antonio, where the median price of a home is $228,000. If you get a low down payment loan and put 3.5% down, your down payment would be $7,980, and your estimated monthly mortgage payment would be $1,150. [2]

Your current monthly rent payment is a good starting point to figure out how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. With that number, you can work backward to see how much you’d need to save up for a down payment.

Need help crunching the numbers? You could try online rent vs. buy calculators, but they typically only give you one side of the picture. That’s why it’s often a good idea to speak with a financial advisor or mortgage lender. At Perch Realty, our licensed Local Market Experts can connect you with a vetted lender to give you clarity into your house hunting budget, covering everything from mortgage interest rates to closing costs to tax deductions.

Buying vs. Renting a Home: What’s the Verdict?

There’s no steadfast rule of thumb for whether renting vs. buying a home is the right choice for you. That’s why it’s often a good idea to work with a local home buying expert who can walk you through your options for home prices, neighborhoods, etc. Our Local Market Experts have the real estate market knowledge you’ll need to figure out if now is the perfect time to buy your dream home.

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