For a long time, tradition has been that homebuying is a significant achievement in one’s lifetime. However, today people are considering home rentals for a lifetime. So, how do you decide when to buy or to rent?
Whether to rent or buy a home remains an intensely personal decision. Here is an overview of the considerations that help you decide on renting vs. buying.
You Don't Have Enough Savings to Pay a Down Payment
If the only mortgage options available to you require a down payment, you need to set aside some savings to pay the required amounts. It’s never too late to start saving. Until you are ready, keep renting for the time being.
Your Credit Score is Low
A low credit score hurts your ability to qualify for a mortgage. However, not all mortgage loans require a good credit score. Your credit score and credit report have a significant impact on whether or not you can qualify for a home loan. If your credit score is still low, start working on repairing your credit. Stick with home rentals until you have a credit score high enough to qualify for a home mortgage.
Your Monthly Housing Cost Will Exceed 30% of your Gross Income if you Buy.
According to personal finance experts, your housing costs should not exceed 30% of your current gross income. If homebuying means your total housing cost will be higher than 30% of your income, you might consider renting until you have a higher salary. You can purchase a lower-cost home to make sure the cost doesn’t exceed that 30% mark or continue saving until you can afford to buy.
Buying Makes you Home Rich but Cash Poor
Property ownership comes with some additional responsibilities. For instance, you will be required to pay property maintenance costs, buy furniture, home repairs, utility payments, and other expenses. If you do not have enough cash flow to cover these additional costs, keep renting a home.
Current Debt to Income Ratio is Above 43%
If you need to finance a home, lenders will calculate your current debt to income ratio. This ratio helps the loan officer determine your suitability for additional debt. A high debt to income ratio hurts your ability to repay the outstanding loans and ensure timely mortgage repayments. Bear in mind that late mortgage repayments will negatively affect your credit score.
You're Planning To Move to a Different City Soon
If you suspect an upcoming transfer at your workplace, this might not be the right time to buy a home. Wait until you’re settled in your new town before buying. If your work involves traveling often, you may postpone buying plans until you decide it is time to settle in a specific city.
When Buying a Home is the Ultimate Choice
You are Planning For Retirement
For seniors, renting a home may not be the right decision. You might want to stay away from city life, be closer to family or find a more peaceful location to retire. Buying a home makes the most sense in this scenario. You can buy the home with cash, finance the home, or take a reverse mortgage with your owned property and enjoy a happy retirement life with an income source guarantee.
You Have a Good Credit Score and Enough Savings For a Down Payment
If your credit score is above 640 and you have enough savings for a 20% down payment, take a conventional home loan and buy for a property. There are also loan programs that don’t require a large down payment to qualify. Credit score and ability to pay a down payment or settlement fees are some things to consider before applying for a mortgage.
You Do Not Have Other Debts
If you are keeping your debts low, it means that you can afford a mortgage. Some debt is healthy and helps build your credit score. Make sure to keep your balances on credit cards low and pay them on time each month. Besides, mortgage lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio to determine your ability to repay the home mortgage.
Your Income is on the Upswing
Are you getting a pay rise soon? Probably you just landed a promotion or your dream job, and your income is increasing soon. Buying a new home could be a perfect way to celebrate your latest achievements.
When considering rent or buying a home, weigh the costs. If buying makes you house rich but cash poor, you are better renting than buying. If you are planning for retirement, buying could mean peace of mind, and you have an opportunity to live on home equity. Make a “pros and cons” list to help you decide whether to purchase a home or keep renting.