On Deciding Whether to Rent or Buy

I wanted to talk about something that’s been bothering me a lot at the moment, and it’s the dilemma of whether to rent or buy a property. My mum always says:

“Renting only pays another person’s mortgage, and if you can afford to pay your own, then you should do it.”

I’m actually in the position to buy my own place, and I’d love it, but am I ready for that commitment? I wanted to draw up a list of pros and cons for each option, in case anyone else has found themselves in a similar situation to me.

Renting

Pros

No commitment

When you rent, you’re not committing to the property. Usually, you’re paying for a fixed-term tenancy, and you can walk away at the end of the contract without any fees (unless you’ve trashed the place…). This is great if you’re looking to travel a bit before settling down, but not so much if you’re looking to settle.

Fixed-term

A fixed-term is perfect if you’re always on the move. Once your tenancy is over, you can simply move on to the next place. This is great if you’re single, with no real solid footing yet (no partner, kids etc).

Landlord covers most issues on the property

This means that if the boiler breaks, your washing machine overloads or if you experience the leak, the landlord is covered and will be able to deal with the issue for you. It also means that you won’t need to buy a lot of furniture and white goods, as many rental properties already come furnished.

Cons

Rent is usually more than a mortgage

Rent is, on average, is almost £1k more expensive annually than a mortgage, which can actually hinder your savings if you’re looking to buy a house down the line.

You can’t make major changes to the property

This means you can’t change any aspect of the foundation. So no new kitchens, bathrooms, carpets etc. Some landlords may let you change the odd thing, but you will always need permission to change something in a rented property (unless they’re very laid back).

The overall costs are more than if you buy

Along with higher rental fees, you’ll also have to pay for your bills, council tax and gas. When you’re buying a house, you can actually shop around for the best deals, in rented accommodation, it’s mostly a flat rate.

Buying

Pros

You’re investing in yourself 

Any money that is paid towards your mortgage is ultimately money being spent on yourself. Down the line, you may be able to afford another property. When you sell your current one, this money will go towards the second property. When renting, your money is going into the pocket of your landlord.

You enter the property ladder

Down the line, this can mean financial security and the option to live in larger properties if your current home gains value over time.

Cons

Any issues on the property are yours

This means that no landlord will be able to foot the bill for you. To save any issues like this cropping up, the easiest solution is to save as you earn, squirrelling away for a rainy day when the dishwasher decides to break.

Extra costs include insurance

When renting, your landlord will have insurance to cover any damage. When you own your own place, you will need to shop around for insurance to cover any damaged or stolen property.

No matter what you decide on whether to rent or buy, there will always be a mixture of pros and cons on each side. You’ll still have to get a removal company, such as Mr Shifter Removals London to move everything. You’ll still have to save money for new furniture and items for the property, and you’ll still need to pay those bills. It’s not an easy decision to make, and for the most part, it’s all about deciding whether you can handle the commitment of buying your own place.

2 Comments

  1. Life of luce

    September 11, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    I’m currently stuck in the situation (like most of my generation) of slowly saving for a deposit while renting. We’ve realised that our rent and future mortgage will be around the same amount. I just want to be able to do what I want to the house i’m living in!

    Luce x

    1. ginakaydaniel

      September 12, 2019 at 9:13 am

      Same, the only way I’ve been able to save anything is because I moved back in with my parents and saved when I could. So many people can’t even afford to do that though. We’re truly generation rent, and there are pros to both but personally I’d rather own my own place precisely so I can decorate it how I want! x

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