Country Minute: Buying vs Renting
Ann Klemp, GreenStone Vice President of Lending
GreenStone Country Minute April


We’ve all heard the stories about houses going for incredibly high prices…but are they going to go even higher? Is it a smarter decision to rent until prices stabilize? Our GreenStone experts are happy to help you look at all the options as you decide whether to buy or rent your country home.


Pros and cons of buying
First, let’s look at the benefits of buying a home. When you own a home, you’re building equity in the property, and you have something to show for it after all of your payments.
Second, you get to make the rules! You don’t have to deal with a landlord for repairs, cosmetic changes, or major improvements. You also can also do what you want – such as own pets or add on, within ordinances. The decisions are yours.


On the other hand, when you’re the owner, you’re the one responsible for the maintenance. When there’s a big expense like your furnace going out, you’re the one paying the bill. Likewise, the yardwork, including lawn care and snow shoveling, will all fall to you. Either you’re the one doing it or you’re the one paying for it, which is often an expense covered by the landlord in a rental situation.


Considerations when renting
One of the main benefits of renting is the flexibility. Perhaps you don’t know where you’re going to live and work in a year, and you don’t want to go through the extensive process of buying, maintaining, and selling a house. Commonly, people advise that if you’re going to live in the same place for three years, it makes sense to buy a house. If you’re staying for less time than that, it often isn’t worth the time and money.


Likewise, if your living situation isn’t concrete, you don’t have to worry about selling your living space when you move. Rental units are usually flexible on leases, and it’s much easier to pick up and leave in a shorter amount of time.


Additional factors
Another way to help decide whether to buy or rent is to look at your ability to fund a down payment, as well as ability to pay property taxes. For instance, you will have a pretty good idea what rent and utilities will be, but until you find a house, you won’t know what the property taxes will cost. When you have all the information, it will be easier to do the final calculations and see if it’s a decision you can afford.


If you are interested in buying, we encourage people to do a pre-qualification first, to get an idea of how much of a house payment they can afford. This also helps you look for houses in the right purchasing range. Once you find a house, for the actual loan application we ask for bank statements, pay stubs, retirement statements, tax returns, and all the documentation that supports the pre-qualification.


Whether you are considering renting vs buying, our GreenStone financial services officers are here to help you make your decision. Please contact your local office or visit our home financing webpage for more information about renting vs buying a house.



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