Friday, October 19, 2012

Rent or Buy? Must Ask Questions

Whether you should buy or rent a home depends on your wants, needs, priorities, short and long term goals. Given the option, most people still prefer to own, especially these days when rents have gone up and mortgage rates have gone down. The decision is not only financial, but in fact, most people buy for quality of life reasons.

Here are some must ask questions to answer if you’re trying to decide:

1)      What are your short and long term plans?

2)      What type of house do you want?

3)      What community do you want to live in?

4)      What is the upfront cost?  Down payment that goes toward the purchase price vs. security deposit, first and last month rent, rental agent fee.

5)      What is the actual after tax cost?

6)      How often do you want to move? A landlord can decide to sell the property at the end of your lease term end do you want to move after a year? What if you have children in school and there aren’t any rentals in that school district?

7)      Do you have a pet(s)? Many landlords do not allow any pets.

8)      How important is control over your living space?

9)      Do you like to decorate? You can’t change a rental; and why would you want to spend money on someone else’ property?

10)   How do you feel about paying your landlord’s mortgage/expenses, building some else’ wealth?

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