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Is Buying a Home Cheaper Than Renting?

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When you’re facing the end of a lease, you have to consider whether renting vs. owning your home is the best decision. Here’s a hard fact: RealtyTrac reported in spring 2015 that a median-priced home was more affordable than fair market rent for a three-bedroom in 76 percent of counties in the United States.

That demonstrates an overall trend, but what does that mean if you’re considering renting vs. buying a home in York, Pa? Read on for the universal truths that can help you decide what’s best for you and your family.

Renting vs. Buying Pros and Cons

When debating buying vs. renting a home, be sure to consider more than just mortgage vs. rent payments. Each presents pros and cons that won’t show up in the monthly check you write. Here’s a deeper look at renting vs. buying your home:

  • Buying Pros: The most attractive aspect of owning your own home is the ability to build equity. When you write a check each month, you’re investing money that you will most likely get back with a return when you sell the home. You also enjoy the predictability of knowing you have a place to live for as long as you want to stay and as long as you can make the payments — there’s no landlord to force you out or raise your rent. You can maintain and renovate your home as you please, and you get an added bonus each April: tax-deductible mortgage interest.
  • Renting Pros: While buying gives you the chance to choose how you maintain and renovate your home, renting lets you pass the bill along to your landlord. Renting also allows flexibility should you want or need to move after a short stay. And, deposit aside, you won’t have the hefty fees and closing costs that come with home ownership.
  • Buying Cons: As with any investment, there’s always a possibility that your asset loses value. While real estate typically appreciates over time, there’s no guarantee that you will turn a profit when you sell your home. Closing costs and other fees also mean that you need to stay in your house longer than just a few years to recoup all that you’ve put into the purchase. That equates to less flexibility if you need to move to another area or want to move into a different neighborhood.
  • Renting Cons: It’s often said that renting is throwing your money away. Rather than an investment that provides a return, the money that goes toward your monthly rent payment never comes back to you. You receive no tax benefits when you rent, and there’s no guarantee of future affordability if rent is raised when your lease expires.

So what’s the ultimate choice for you and your family? It really depends on your unique circumstances. In 2012, Trulia’s Chief Economist reported that purchasing a home in the 100 largest American metro areas was 45 percent less expensive than renting — if you plan to stay in your home for at least seven years. Are you looking for a home for the long-term? Are you looking to invest your money as equity? Are you looking to purchase, customize and enjoy the home you’ve always dreamed of?

If so, buying may be for you. Which leads to the next question: Where do I get started when buying a home?

Securing a realtor is a great place to begin. An experienced realtor can help you narrow your search, find a lender, make an offer, negotiate, and manage all the small-but-significant tasks that lead up to closing. At CENTURY 21 Core Partners, any one of our experienced realtors would be glad to help you consider buying vs. renting a home in York, PA. To speak to one of our team members, contact us today.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Central PA, Northern Maryland area.