Rent vs. Buy: Which should you choose?
Should you rent a home or buy one?
Many people struggle with this decision. To be sure, both options have advantages and disadvantages. For example, renting is more flexible and comes with fewer maintenance worries, but paying rent doesn’t build equity or amount to a long-term investment the way paying a mortgage does. Homeownership, a critical component of “the American dream,” provides a sense of permanence and security, but can be expensive if the home requires more maintenance or repairs than expected.
The decision is can have a big impact on your future, and it often comes down to personal preference and financial considerations. Luckily, there are resources available to help you weigh your options and come to the best choice based on your individual needs.
- This New York Times interactive calculator takes customized inputs and produces an easy-to-understand graph illustrating when it’s best to rent or buy: Is It Better to Buy or Rent?
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research provides current and historical information on housing market conditions: U.S. Housing Market Conditions
- The Khan Academy features an extensive selection of information on housing, including a discussion on renting vs. buying: Housing
- These three resources all provide a nice breakdown of the issue:
Of course, before making any life-changing decisions, it’s always best to consult a financial advisor who can assess your individual situation and help you determine the best course of action based on that assessment.