Buying vs. Renting: Which is better?

Whether you’re braving a new city or just moving around the corner where you choose to live and how you’re going to pay for it is important.

But how do you figure out if you should buy or rent?

“Your very first step that you should say to yourself is how long am I going to be here back to the time because really if you’re not staying there for longer than seven years then buying a home as an investment that might now be the best thing,” said Financial Advisor at Whiddon Wealth Management Bailey Cave.

Experts say renting is a great choice for short term stays and if you don’t really want to make a commitment.

On the other hand, home owning has its long-term benefits too.

“You’re building equity on an asset. You’re paying down what you owe on an asset. When you’re renting, you’re paying down debt on somebody else’s asset,” said Albany Realty Company Realtor Mike Flynn. “It’s something that belongs to somebody else and they’re going to reap the ultimate benefit.”

Flynn said the Albany area is a sellers’ market right now, with only about 600 single families homes up for grabs, compared to nearly 800 that were on the market last year.

The recent storms also have had an effect.

“Everything that was for rent prior to the storm that was livable is pretty rented up,” said Flynn. “[We’ve seen] people with damaged homes that don’t know if they should repair it and then put it on the market.”

Flynn also said closings have been delayed in many cases.

Decorating a new place, regardless of if you buy or rent, doesn’t have to be expensive either.

“I am an advocate for bargain shopping,” said Cave. “You can find some beautiful pieces of furniture that are second hand. That way you’re not having to go out and spend thousands of dollars on buying.”

Cave also recommends using a rent versus buying calculator online that can also help you figure out what would be the smartest move for you.

But there’s no one choice that’s better than the other.

“At the end of the day you’ve got to say, ‘what is going to work for me’,” said Cave. “You want to just be very careful that you don’t get into a situation because a home is an investment. There’s no guarantee that it’s going to go up in value.”

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