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To Rent or To Buy? The Pros and Cons

By Tiffany Raiford

The age old question whether to buy or rent is one that plagues New Yorkers consistently. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to both, but it's often difficult to determine which option is more beneficial financially for your family's future. By weighing the pros and cons of both, you can ensure that you are able to make the best decision for your family when the time comes to buy or rent.

Amenities Matter

It's entirely up to you which category to place these factors in. Some people prefer to have a nice, big, private backyard for the kid to run around. Others prefer to have a landlord on call who fixes anything that goes wrong in a matter of hours. Some people prefer the privacy of their own home while others thrive knowing that their neighbors are only a wall away. Some want a doorman and others want a front porch no one else uses. Depending on what you're looking for in a house or apartment, you get to place these options on your own.

Money Matters

One of the most important factors associated with buying and renting is money. Typically, you can get more for less when you rent. However, at the end of the day (or at least your lease) you have nothing to show for the thousands of dollars in rent you've paid over the course of so many years. However, a mortgage is something that weighs heavily on buyers. The cost is expensive, the term is lengthy and each time you make a mortgage payment, you have just built a little equity in your home. Essentially, you have to ask yourself what is more important; being able to pick up and go anytime you please or building financial equity to use in your future.

Making it Your Own

Many people do not take the time to consider the fact that owning a home means you can make any changes to your structure you like. When you rent, you might not be permitted to hang that giant television or paint the boring white walls. Additionally, when you purchase a home it becomes your job to take care of the lawn and the maintenance. When you rent, someone else does all of that on your behalf. Again, one might be a pro to you and a con to another.

There is no book to tell you whether or not you should buy or rent. Some people just prefer one over the other. However, when you look at the pros and cons of each, and separate them into your own categories, you will have a much better idea of what it is you want for your family. You might be surprised how many people agree and disagree with your assessment of what a pro vs. a con really is, but to each his own.

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