Lease Vs. Buy: A Renters Guide
Reasons for Houston, Texas, Apartment Rental
Renters voted rather overwhelmingly that they would like to own their own homes someday. While they (and you, perhaps) are waiting for that day to become a reality, take comfort in these reasons to lease vs. buy. Rental living DOES have its advantages, as you.ll see in this renters guide.
Freedom of Movement
For many people.and at some stages of life.the freedom to move to take a new job, go to school or just satisfy a call to wander is important. For a renter, this is as simple as getting out of an apartment lease, packing up and going. (Okay, maybe not that simple, but you get the point.) A homeowner would have to either sell or lease her house before being able to lease an apartment or buy a house in a new location.
Lower Up Front Expenses
Sure, when you pursue a Houston, Texas, apartment rental, you'll probably have to fork out a thousand dollars or more to cover security deposit, first and last month's rent, and/or broker's fees, but compare that with the tens of thousands in down payment, not to mention closing costs, lender's fees, broker's fees, inspections, and other "hidden costs" involved in the purchase of a house. If you don't have a lot of ready cash, rent versus buy saves you lots of money. Purchasing may not be the right choice at this point.
Lower Monthly Expenses
Yes, it is true that in some areas monthly mortgage payments on a comparably-sized house or rental lease can be as low as (or even less than) monthly rent, but think of the other costs associated with homeownership. Compare rent vs. buy. Renters don't pay rental property tax; most renters pay significantly less in insurance; and most renters won't need to pay for major (and expensive) repairs; which brings us to....
Now, I'm not advocating irresponsibility, but I have to admit that knowing that if the water heater breaks I don't have to pay to fix it eases my mind somewhat. Most of us who rent an apartment don't need to worry about having the ready cash (or credit) to repair a roof should it spring a leak, replace a faulty furnace, or buy a new refrigerator.
The Equity Trap
One argument for owning is that you build up equity, and I do agree wholeheartedly -- over the long term, almost all real estate appreciates. The real estate market is, however, historically very volatile, and homeowners can find their home's value "under water" (they owe more than it's worth) when they need to sell. No one would buy investment rental property when prices are inflated, but if you need to buy a home for your family, you don't always have the luxury of waiting for a favorable market.
Why Not Rent a House?
Of course, apartment living comes with a certain loss of privacy, but have you thought about renting a house? Renting a house brings with it many of the advantages of owning a house: your own yard, no shared walls, likely more space, and perhaps even more pride in your home. Leasing a house does carry with it considerations that don't exist with apartments (like owning yard equipment and more maintenance issues), so make sure you consider these issues when you decide to move.
By Sandra Clockedile