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Sunday, July 13, 2014
Rent Or Buy?
Here are a few points to consider when deciding whether
homeownership or renting makes better sense for you.
Reasons to rent
•Flexibility. Renting allows you to explore an area before
making the longer-term commitment to homeownership. Unless you are certain
about a specific neighborhood, renting allows time for research and discovery.
•Career uncertainty. If you think you might need to move in
the near future, or are mulling job changes that span several areas of town or
are located elsewhere in the country, you might want to rent. Buying ties you
down to a greater extent.
•Income uncertainty. If you expect a pay hike or cut in the
near future, that can change your borrowing ability as well as impact your
ability to pay a mortgage.
•Bad credit. Creating a history of on-time rental payments
can help you build the sort of credit you’ll need to qualify for a mortgage.
•No maintenance expenses. When a pipe leaks, you don't head
to the store; you head for the telephone and call the landlord.
•Utilities (sometimes) included. In some instances, the
landlord may pay for many utilities such as water, sewer, garbage, and, in some
cases, even heat and hot water.
Reasons to buy
•Equity. When you pay rent, you are paying your landlord’s
mortgage or adding equity to his or her bank account. However, when you have a
home mortgage, you increase your degree of ownership in your home with every
payment. A general rule is that if you intend to stay in your property for at
least five to seven years, the costs of purchasing the home are more likely to
be offset by accrued equity and increased housing value. In the event that
equity in the home grows to more than a 20-to-80 percent loan-to-value ratio,
you will be able to borrow against your equity in the home. This can be
cautiously used should you need capital to pay for major purchases. If interest
rates drop, you can refinance your mortgage at more favorable rates, or, once
you've paid the entire mortgage off, borrow against the equity in your home to
fund major purchases such as a second home or your child's education.
•Tax deductions. You can deduct mortgage interest as well as
your property taxes. Uncle Sam doesn't give renters this bonus. Not only that,
but if you meet certain requirements the IRS won't apply a "capital
gains" tax on your profits from the sale of your home. You can keep the
first $250,000 in profit you make when selling the home if you're single, or
the first $500,000 if married. In addition, those who work from home may be
eligible to take deductions for their home office and portions of utilities.
•Creative control. You like dozens of pictures on the wall?
Well, hammer away -- they are your walls now. Go ahead and paint them mango!
Wish you had another room? Go ahead and add one.
•Maintenance choices. If you live in a house, you can decide
how to approach maintenance, either doing it yourself or picking your own
contractor. If you live in a condominium or homeowners' association, you may
pay a monthly fee to have maintenance work covered by the association's