There are both advantages and disadvantages when considering whether to buy or rent; nevertheless, overall recent evidence suggests that buying your home is more advantageous than renting.
Advantages to buying
Current market prices
Both rentals and mortgages have become more expensive during the past five years – however, between the two, rentals have seen a larger increase in cost.
Recent figures from Santander indicate that the average long term renter is likely to shell out as much as £296,000 to landlords without ever actually owning the property over the course of their life time.
Halifax makes similar claims stating that current property prices make it 16% cheaper to buy rather than rent a home
It is estimated that during a seven year period, those attempting to save for a mortgage deposit in order to buy their own property, spend a whopping £42,000 on renting.
Due to a significant rise in the purchase of buy to let properties, there are a less affordable homes to purchase as a result – this trend has led to more people becoming forced to rent rather than buy their own property, an increased demand for rentals has ultimately led to an increase in the price of rent. This is something of a vicious circle as higher rents also make it even more difficult for many to put together a deposit.
Another great advantage of buying your home is that the majority of mortgages are paid off by the time the owner reaches retirement age; whereas long term tenants often struggle to make ends meet whilst paying rent on a limited budget.
Aside from the aforementioned obvious current financial advantages of cheaper monthly payments, an acquisition of a property is a personal gain – an asset, capital against your name. This reflects stability – a favourable feature when applying for any other type of future loan. Paying into a property every month is also an imposed form of saving or investment.
Control over your property
Buying provides the owner with control over the property, leaving you free to make any home improvements (rentals usually require the landlord’s permission). Improvements increase the value of your home.
There is also the benefit of personal freedom, you can have as many pets, children etc. and make as much noise and mess as you like.
Putting Roots Down
Buying your own house is part of settling down and creating your home, becoming a ‘local’ in the area and becoming part of the local community.
Property prices in the UK are generally expensive and on the increase.
Getting the money together for a deposit can be difficult and take a long time.
All of your spending habits and credit history come under scrutiny by the mortgage company.
And don’t forget the fees – solicitors fees, stamp duty etc. all have to be factored into the overall cost.
For those that are not ready to put down roots in their own home, renting is an excellent option, providing much more flexibility. Most initial contracts are only for 6 months to 1 year. This flexibility is essential for those with changing personal circumstances, providing the option of easy relocation.
More Financial Freedom
The financial freedom of not being tied into a mortgage contract for the foreseeable future is a significant advantage.
Being the tenant also means that you are not responsible for costly repair jobs such as a broken boiler, or a leaking roof. The tenant’s overall commitment to maintenance is minimal.
The largest disadvantage is paying into something with no return, a “dead” investment, as well as the previously discussed points – lack of stability etc.