Buying versus renting is an age old debate. Proponents on both sides of the spectrum will argue till their blue in the face (and you’re red in the face!) to convince you. But right or wrong, this is an issue that everyone needs to face at some point in their lives.
So what’s at stake and what should you be looking for as a homeowner/potential homeowner/perpetual renter? Here are some tips to help make your decision a little easier (though also harder):
1) If there are savings to be had from buying, they’re shrinking. Over seven years it’s about 6% more expensive to buy than it was last year.
2) Buying means broker’s commissions, legal fees, closing costs, etc. Renting usually involves insurance and agent commissions.
3) Buying usually means staying put for a while, though that’s mainly true in more rural areas than high traffic areas like New York.
4) Mortgage rates are pretty good right now so buying seems promising, though that could change in the coming years.
5) Rising home prices can mean a nice payoff for buying . . . or encourage renting if you’re pushing off your purchase right now.
These tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg when it comes to this debate. In the end you need to be happy where you are and let the money come in second. So find your slice of happiness and make it your own . . . at least for now.
One important thing you’ve got to consider when showing a house to a prospective investor (or when you are the investor) is maintenance. Even if you’re getting a “bargain” you might owe more in the end. So here are some good ideas for you to keep in mind.
1) You don’t need to sacrifice design to keep costs down. You might think you can’t get a natural wood or stone look if you want something durable. But these days there are plenty of man-made options that look great and won’t break the bank.
2) Cement siding is great. Paint jobs last far longer on these surfaces and they look amazing.
3) Plastic trim is the next big thing. Don’t worry about durability – pound for pound this stuff can outlast even the toughest wood.
4) Quartz countertops instead of granite. They come in more shades, clean easily, and seal great.
These kinds of small adjustments when renovating can save thousands of dollars over the course of the year. I’ll keep looking out for great tips like these for you to share.
Send me your tips so we can all work better.
Weird week to report. It’s a case of the same news being looked at two totally different ways. Earlier in the week I told you how hard the rise in home prices has been on first time home buyers. It’s just getting more and more difficult for them to afford decent homes. So then what’s the other side of the story?
The fact is 25% of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. But with values rising nearly 3.5 million borrowers are due to more out of the negative equity range. And another 6 million that could qualify for refinancing could also get back to a more normal 80%.
Sure those kind of numbers are up in the air and depend on a whole lot of things working out. But it’s hopeful at least. And that’s important to remember. Keeping up hope is the strongest way to change your situation.
If you’re unhappy with where you are then you may be in luck. But you need more than luck. You need a fire in your soul. You need a dream and a heart. I know those of you out there who have been following me all these years have those qualities. We’ve suffered through hard times, down economies, hopes and losses. But having the heart and courage to pull through is what keeps up strong. I’m proud of each of you and you should be proud of yourselves.
Have a great day. Things are looking up!