In society today, owning your own home is seen as a pretty big tick on the checklist in life. Once upon a time, getting your feet on the property ladder was something that most people could achieve; but now, due to rising house prices and increased living costs, it has become out of reach meaning many people are stuck in expensive rented accommodation (often costing more than a monthly mortgage payment!)
That said, there are definite benefits to renting and these are often overlooked due to the focus on homeownership. So I decided this week, I would explore these positives in a little more detail for those of you who are weighing up your options about whether to buy or rent at certain times in your life, particularly those of you who are looking to buy your first home.
For those twenty-somethings who want to have fun and enjoy city life. being able to rent it a much easier way to achieve this. Often buying in a city centre is a pricey thing to do so renting means you can enjoy quick trips to the shops and easy access to an abundance of bars and restaurants without being stuck far out. If you can’t do this when you’re young then when can you?
Low Maintenance Costs
Renting means that normally your landlord is responsible for any repair costs that need to be carried out to your home resulting in you saving money, this can really add up if big problems occur like a broken boiler or leaking roof.
Whilst this point is certainly more location-dependent, it is definitely worth considering: even if you could afford to buy in a certain area, should you? Depending on your future plans it might be savvier to save more and buy in an area you really want to be rather than rushing to buy somewhere just because you can. With the first few years of mortgage repayments often being purely interest if you are looking to move again in a short space of time — for example, to a bigger property, or to a more expensive area –then once you add up the costs of moving like solicitor fees, surveys and stamp duty, it may be better hanging tight and putting that money into your deposit pot, while still maintaining a good standard of living.
Uncertain Property Values
With property prices in some parts of the country being very unlikely to rise and in some cases potentially drop then it is really worth considering whether or not you should buy or hang tight, save and rent. For example, if your job sees you move about a lot or you are climbing the career ladder and you don’t know where that might take you, then it is worth thinking again about the associated fees and whether or not you will recover these costs/break even. Remember — if your house value goes down by more than the amount you have cleared on your mortgage, your next deposit will be smaller.
With rent being fixed for the length of a tenancy you have the peace of mind that the price won’t go up. This is great if you are looking to stick to a budget for cost-saving purposes, or maybe because you are looking to splurge on other things! If you had a mortgage that wasn’t fixed rate then your repayments could go up or down.
So whilst I do agree that owning your own home is important to aim for, it’s worth considering a few of the points above and look at your own circumstances to see if/when you should think about buying and whether or not renting might be your better option for a little while longer.
All photos are property of their respective publishers – ‘Farrow & Ball’, ‘Country Living UK’ & ‘How Does She’