Should I Rent or Should I Buy?
Many people have struggled with this question over the years, and there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both as this article will describe. As a mortgage professional, I help people navigate this decision every day, and I am not afraid to tell someone if renting may be a better option for his or her current situation. Ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone, but I have provided some highlights to help with the decision.
Costs: The Atlanta area is rated as one of the least expensive metro areas in the country when it comes to both renting and buying. However, the exact ‘cost’ should be evaluated thoroughly and is much more than a simple comparison of the monthly rental cost of a unit versus the cost of a mortgage payment. Insurance costs, maintenance costs, property taxes, homeowner’s association fees, mortgage insurance premiums, and various other fees also should be taken into consideration when purchasing. Depending on the home or unit, these costs can make either choice the more favorable option on a pure monthly cost basis. A mortgage professional can and will take the guesswork out of not just how much home you can afford but also how much money it is going to take to get you into the home.
Location: The location of the property is critical to your decision either way. There is so much to consider regarding the location that you can argue the merits of renting versus buying solely on this topic. Schools, shopping, availability of hospitals and medical care, traffic patterns, safety, proximity to work, availability of affordable housing, proximity to parks and other recreational pursuits, proximity to the airport, as well as countless other factors should all be taken into consideration before making any decision to rent or buy. The weight and value that you place on these factors are totally up to you, but inventory for both sides can largely affect this decision. It is not wise to rent or especially buy in a location in which you do not wish.
Time: The element of time is critical to your decision. How long are you going to be at this location? Do you anticipate adding to your family during your time at this location? Do you anticipate any growth in your job responsibilities that will require you to relocate? What are your long-term objectives and goals?
In general, renting provides you the benefit of flexibility, and you can relocate much easier than you can if you own a home. Therefore, if you are only planning to be in an area for the short term, renting is the way to go. If you are going for the long term, homeownership allows more flexibility, as you can change or redesign the house to fit your needs, and can provide an avenue to invest your money in an asset that usually will appreciate in value.
Final Thoughts: The question to rent or buy requires serious discussions, and ultimately the decision is something you should not take lightly. When you take all of these factors and seriously evaluate this decision for the “best interests” of you and your family, the decision becomes somewhat simple either way.
Jack Stevens is a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer at Brightpath Mortgage. You can reach him at email@example.com or (404) 925-5996.
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