One of life’s big decisions is determining when it’s the right time to buy a house. This decision will be different for everyone since it hinges upon individual circumstances – your finances, career, life plans, and more. You often hear that buying is smart because you’ll gain equity in a home while you live there, but there are certainly instances where renting may be a better fit for your needs. Below, we’ll highlight the pros and cons of renting and buying for you to consider!
Planning to Move in a Few Years?
Buying a home is best described as an investment that will hopefully provide a decent return if you decide to sell in the future. However, to really reap the benefits of selling, you’ll usually want to live in the home for at least several years. Renting is sometimes favored by individuals who aren’t sure how long they’ll stay in the area since it only requires a short-term commitment and little in the way of upfront costs.
However, even if you’re not sure how long you’ll live in the area, buying could still be the best option for you if the real estate market is in your favor and rates are low. Yes, buying a home indeed requires some out-of-pocket expenses, such as a down payment and/or closing costs, but there are many low or no down payment options that help keep your upfront costs low, which could make buying a home the best option for you!
Enjoy Tackling Home Projects?
For some, doing projects around the home and working in the yard is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. For most renters, the ability to decorate and garden is limited, since they do not own the property. Homeownership allows you to make improvements to your home according to your preferences. As a bonus, it will often add value to your home when it comes time to sell. If you prefer a low-maintenance place and don’t enjoy mowing the lawn, renting might be a good fit for you – but it’s worth noting that you can also buy a home with little to no maintenance required on your part! Some neighborhoods offer low-maintenance homes (think condos and townhomes!) and typically cover the cost of maintenance for a fee.
Still Working on Saving Money?
Owning a home can be a very rewarding experience, but it often requires some cash upfront when purchasing the house. Between the down payment (if applicable) and associated closing costs, the dollar amount can add up quickly. Waiting until you’re financially ready to purchase a home is always the right decision – and not a good one to rush into! Homeownership may seem out of reach, but with planning and dedication to reaching your goal, you’ll be on your way in no time. In some cases, renting for a few years may be the ticket to helping you save up for a down payment for your future home. If you’re hoping to buy a home sooner rather than later, there are many low-to-no down payment mortgage options available, including the FHA, VA and USDA loan programs, which require as little as 3.5% and 0% down, respectively. There are also state housing finance agency options, including Virginia Housing, Maryland Mortgage Program and North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, that offer additional down payment and closing cost assistance opportunities.
Looking to Begin Investing?
When you’re at a point in your life where you are financially stable and feel ready to invest, buying a home may be a great investment opportunity for you. The housing market and economy ebb and flow, but generally speaking, homeownership is a great investment over time. In addition to reaping the financial benefits of homeownership, there are also tax incentives in the form of a mortgage interest deduction that will help you save on taxes each year.
The financial reward of owning a home can be significant. With several low-to-no down payment opportunities, grant funding, and first-time homebuyer programs available, many avenues make homeownership more attainable for all prospective buyers.
Of course, it’s also important to pay attention to the real estate market trends, as they are ever-changing; this includes mortgage interest rates. At C&F Mortgage, our local industry experts are here to help you navigate the path to becoming a homeowner – whether you’re ready to start tomorrow or a few years down the road!