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.
Let’s just settle things right off the bat: NO ONE can predict the future. If you still think that someone is going to tell you the winning lottery numbers or future natural disasters then you’ve got to go back to kindergarten. And yet, we as a species are so caught up in trying to figure out the future that we jump at almost anyone who claims to know something. Why is that? What are we hoping to see?
We spend millions following “expert advice” though as high and mighty as they sound they really can’t back up what they’re saying. Nowhere is this more true than in the housing market. There are a million different factors to consider before even beginning to guess which way the market is going to swing. Yet every guy that has even a sliver of the picture will shoot his mouth off with absolute certainty about what the future holds.
Take it from me, no one can see the curve balls coming that life has in store for us. You’ve got to be smart and make good decisions but don’t even think you’ve seen all the angles. I’ve been reading the “Guide to the 2013 Residential Housing Market” (or something like that) and it really tries its best to sound completely authoritative. Toss around policies like QE3 and FOMC, the NAR and FHFA and people will think you sit in every boardroom in the country 24/7.
Well guess what. They don’t. So you listen to the people you trust, keep your eyes open, and make smart decisions. Diversify. Take (calculated) risks. And do something worthwhile. And always be a servant. I’m going to keep hammering that point home until you listen.
Do you have words of wisdom others can live by? Please share them below.