To buy or to rent? That’s often the question for many of us who are confronted with the difficulty of getting into today’s challenging UK property market. Deciding can be difficult, with myriad factors to consider. Here are some pros and cons to help you out.
One of the biggest advantages to renting is the ability to relocate with only a few months’ notice, so it’s perfect for those of us who don’t like staying put for too long, whose jobs require flexibility, or who simply aren’t sure if or where they want to settle down.
Renting is also ideal for exploring new areas with a view to buying in the longer term, allowing you to really experience a place and get a good sense of whether purchasing there would be a good economic investment, and the right life decision.
Cost and credit
Owning a home can be a costly undertaking, with many small (and not so small) expenditures that can often be overlooked. These range from maintenance and repair of the property, through to property taxes – all of these can be avoided when renting, often making your costs simpler and easier to manage. You can also use renting to improve a poor credit history by undertaking a rental contract and paying the rent in a timely manner every month, bringing you one step closer to being able to secure a mortgage and buy a home in the future.
Wherever you rent, your house won’t be your own. This means that you usually won’t be able to make changes to the property, and will be subject to the rules that the landlord lays down. You may not be able to bring a pet, have people to stay for extended periods of time, or grow what you want in the garden, for example. For some of us, this isn’t a problem, but tensions between the owner and you as the tenant can make relaxed living difficult.
Lack of long term investment
Although renting may represent a smaller outlay on a monthly basis, there is one big financial downside; where buying a house provides you with a long term investment that you can eventually pay off and own outright, rented property will never be yours. If you’re looking for long term security, then renting may not be the ideal option for you.