rent or buy

Owning vs. Renting

Here we go again. It’s that dreaded, never-ending real estate conversation piece centered on Owning vs. Renting.

Well, sort of.

There are two sides to every equation, and this particular subject is no exception. Current homeowners who say they love their homes are the same ones that say they hate raking leaves or mowing the lawn every weekend. Current renters say they want to own, but think they can’t afford it (without even consulting a mortgage lender).

This post isn’t going to put this debate to rest, but it will highlight some of the pros, cons, and considerations that come with owning or renting.

First off, consider the following:

Let’s dive a bit deeper into some logistics.

Home Improvements
Leaky faucet while renting: Call the landlord and wait for availability
Leaky faucet while owning: Call a plumber/handyman OR attempt to learn from YouTube (don’t knock it. This has saved me thousands of dollars)

It’s often considered a burden for renters to be at the whim of a landlord to make all repairs and file all complaints, but some may consider this a blessing if it means not having to do the work themselves. Again, this is all preferential. As someone who has been on both sides of the equation, I do recall that freedom of texting the landlord while at work to repair something and having it completely fixed by the time I got home. On the other hand, I also recall my landlord taking nearly a week to repair a hot water heater in the dead of winter, resulting in ice cold showers in sub-freezing temperatures. And if you think water is cold without a heater, imagine how much colder it is coming from freezing pipes.

As a home owner, inconveniences will surface, no more than when you rent. How you choose to handle them is up to you. Personally, I try to learn as I go. So when the kitchen sink faucet came loose a year or so ago, I watched about a dozen videos on installation, purchased a replacement kit, and re-did the entire thing myself. And while it did take time, and money (less of it since I wasn’t paying for service hours), nothing compares to that sense of accomplishment afterward. This is my home, and I do take pride in it.

Lose the Neighbors
That same apartment experience was privy to the occasional lovers’ quarrel from the downstairs neighbors. In fact, on my first night in my new apartment, I woke up to flashing red and blue lights (if you guessed cops you win). I have no idea what the dispute was, but it’s definitely not something I miss.

Unless you purchase a house in the absolute middle of nowhere, you’re going to have neighbors. But the added benefit of owning compared to renting is that you won’t have them stomping above your head, screaming beneath your feet, or cooking on the other side of the walls (I could always tell when someone was cooking fish. Gross.)

Your Home is Your Canvas
Most apartments won’t even allow for fresh paint on the walls, and even if they do your choices are often white, gloss white, or off-white. You may be allowed to paint them to your liking, but don’t forget to return it back to its original color when you move out.

With a home, the walls are your canvas. In fact, your preferences aren’t even limited to paint colors. You can add rooms, renovate basements, build up, out, over – in the grand scheme of things, the options really are limitless. And the best part is, most changes to a home, while an expense up front, can only further add value to your purchase. An extra bedroom can value your home anywhere from $30,000 – $50,000 higher.

Whether you’re interested in owning or renting, let’s set up some time to talk and discuss what may work best for you.