Renting vs Buyng a home Essay

This essay has a total of 1682 words and 11 pages.

Renting vs Buyng a home



INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

Should I sign another lease or take the plunge and buy a place I can really call home?
This is a question that millions of Americans ask themselves everyday. This question is
also an important one for me, as I am currently trying to make this decision. To answer
this question consumers need to consider a few factors. A couple of these factors that
need to be considered are their lifestyles and financial situations. According to the
1990 United States Census, there are approximately three million people in the state of
Texas that live in owner-occupied housing and slightly over two million that live in
renter-occupied housing. There are numerous reasons that people may choose to rent over
actually buying a home. Making a choice between renting and buying is made easier in this
day and age, due to the amount of information that is available on the World Wide Web. I
have done a great amount of research through the use of the Internet while working on this
report. There is an unbelievable amount of information on purchasing a home. The
following is some information that is available to help with the home buying decision:
Step-by-step instructions on the home buying process, mortgage calculator (helps to
compare cost of buying vs. renting), on-line loan applications, on-line mortgage
companies, on-line Fannie-Mae forms, on-line real estate companies. Through the use of
the Internet the home buying choice and the actual home buying process is made much
easier. A consumer can actually apply for a home loan, obtain pre-approval, and buy a
house on the Internet. In addition to the amount of research gathered on the Internet, two
interviews were conducted. The first interview was conducted with a real-estate agent.
This real estate agent was able to provide some helpful information from a different
perspective. The second interview was with a personal friend who has been on both sides
of the avenues, renting and buying.

PROBLEM
Buying versus renting a home is a big decision that consumers must make at some point in
their lives. Millions of Americans are faced with this decision everyday. There are
advantages and disadvantages to renting and buying a home. Before making this decision
consumers must first look at their individual situation, they then must examine their
short-term goals, and then finally their long term goals. This report will hopefully help
in making this decision easier.

PURPOSE OF REPORT
The purpose of this report is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages that consumers
have renting versus buying a home. This information will make it easier for consumers to
make this all-important decision.


DISCUSSION
THE PROS AND CONS OF RENTING VS BUYING A HOME
"Buying a house is often the single largest investment that many individuals make, but the
decision to buy a house requires balancing investment issues with emotional/personal ones"
("Buying versus Renting: Investment Decisions", 1). Renting is usually better than buying
in the short term (0-5 years). Buying a house can make economic sense compared to renting
over the long-term.

If you are considering buying a home, one of the first decisions you need to make is
whether buying a house instead of renting one is the right direction for you. One of the
first steps is to consider the cost of buying versus renting. "A general rule of thumb is
that if you expect to stay in a new house for seven years, you'll be better off buying"
(Rowland, 1). The next questions to ask yourself is what can you afford to pay for your
first home, and how much of a down payment can you pay? The best way to figure out much
house you can afford is to use the calculators available on the Internet.

After answering the above questions, potential homebuyers should then look at the pros and
cons of renting vs. buying a home. The following is a list of some of the advantages and
disadvantages to renting vs. buying a home.

Advantages of renting a home
Renting a home provides more flexibility than owning a home. When the lease is up, you
have the freedom to move. Someone who is renting does not have the risk of losing equity
("Renting or Buying: Advantages and Disadvantages", 1). There is generally less work and
less cost for the renter in maintaining a home or an apartment. The landlord, or owner of
the property generally pays for this cost. The renter has fewer amounts of "up-front"
cash that they must provide before moving in.

Disadvantages of renting a home
Renting a home does not provide tax advantages to the renter. Any and all tax advantages
go to the landlord or property owner. Renting a home limits the renter the ability to
personalize his or her home or apartment. No matter what happens with the value of the
home, the renter will never gain equity. The landlord will gain any and all equity.



Advantages of buying a home
There are tax advantages that can be attached to home ownership ("Renting or Buying:
Advantages and Disadvantages", 1). Mortgage interests and property taxes are tax
deductible. Your ability to remodel and redecorate the home to match your needs and
desires. "Over time, the mortgage balance decreases and equity builds, even if the value
of the home does not increase" ("Renting or Buying: Advantages and Disadvantages", 1).
Another advantage to home buying is the security; the feeling of having a place to call
home that is yours.

Disadvantages of buying a home
Homeowners have less flexibility. If the homeowner wants to move, then generally the home
must be sold. The homeowner pays all maintenance costs for the home. There are higher
variable costs involved in owning a home ("Renting or Buying: Advantages and
Disadvantages", 1). Equity may go down, or remain the same. There are generally larger up
front costs involved in buying a home.

Comparisons between renting and buying
The following graphs will depict the differences in cost between renting vs. Buying:
FIGURE 1: Total Cost at Loan Payoff or Home Sale

Source: www.austin360.com/features/calculators/national/home_finance/home10.html

FIGURE 2: Total Cost at Various Appreciation Rates

Source: www.calcbuilder.com/fc_calcs/images/calc_buttons/results_tab.gif

Factors to consider when making the decision to buy or rent
"Buying a house, will it break the bank or save you money" (Brodrick, 1)? Choosing
between renting and buying often is a question on money. The following are some factors
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