Buying vs. renting a home

Rent or buy a home: Which one is right for you?

There are plenty of great reasons why homeownership might be a better option for you than renting. There are also plenty of reasons why renting may be better for you than owning. Explore the pros and cons of each to see what works best for you right now.

The benefits and considerations of buying a home.

Purchasing a home is a big, exciting step. But before you buy, it’s best to know both sides, because financials aren’t the only factors that determine whether you should purchase a home.

Benefits of buying a home

  • Some studies show buying can be cheaper than renting
  • You could potentially build your own equity at about the same monthly cost as renting
  • You get to take advantage of federal income-tax breaks and deductions
  • You won’t have to deal with any unexpected rent increases
  • Freedom to complete home improvement projects
  • Roomier, more comfortable living space for your family to grow
  • Opportunities to decorate and style your home to match your personality
  • More storage space, including garage or carport options
  • The luxury of having your own backyard and outdoor space
  • Pride of ownership in your home

What to consider when buying a home

  • With a down payment, homeownership can be a larger initial financial investment
  • It’s a long-term financial commitment
  • Depending on the price of your home and interest rate at time of closing, your mortgage payments could be higher than rent payments
  • The costs of long-term homeownership and maintenance
  • Knowledge and know-how of some home maintenance
  • Housing market fluctuations could mean an increase (or decrease) in value for your home
  • Additional expenses—like utilities, HOA fees, and more—often fall outside of your mortgage

The benefits and considerations of renting a home, condo or apartment

Renting can be a dream come true. It all depends on what you prefer. Here are a few ways to tell if renting is right for you.

Benefits of renting

  • Monthly rent payments could potentially be lower than mortgage payments
  • There’s pretty low maintenance and upkeep responsibility
  • Short-term contracts with low initial investment
  • Ability to move to new and different locations

What to consider when renting

  • Rental agreements can be strict to break, often resulting in significant financial penalties
  • You may need to initially provide multiple months’ worth of rent in advance
  • There are no tax breaks available for renters
  • Rent payments can fluctuate, often for no apparent reason at all
  • Tenants’ legal rights vary from state to state
  • Renting doesn’t come with a sense of ownership
  • Little to no decorating or customization options
  • Additional costs may be required if you have pets
  • Cramped, small spaces

Which option is more expensive, renting or owning? See what makes the most sense for you financially with our Rent vs. Buy calculator.

You’ll often hear about waiting for the market to “bottom out.” The problem is that no one will ever know when that is going to really happen, because there’s not a 100% accurate way to predict what homebuying market trends will prevail. The bottom line is that you have to pick the best option for you and your family.

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The foregoing information is provided solely for general information purposes and is not intended in any way as financial, securities, insurance, tax, or legal advice or services. Each potential homebuyer may have unique financial and other considerations that may be important to any home buying, financing or related decision. Accordingly, Meritage does not assume any duty or liability in providing the foregoing information and expressly disclaims all representations and warranties of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to such information. Potential homebuyers that desire additional information or guidance tailored to their specific situation should contact a relevant professional. Location information obtained from public sources and believed to be correct, but Meritage makes no representation or warranty with respect thereto.