Rent or Buy?

<photo: Making Sense of Cents>

The rent vs. buy decision has been more prevalent in recent years than in quite awhile. While some people are choosing rental homes to check-out a new area, others like the flexibility. On the flip side, plenty of people still don’t like the idea of spending money without getting something they can keep.

The pros and cons are different for everyone. To buy and spend more on a home than any other single investment is a big decision. So is that chunk of change you need for a down payment and the ongoing funds required to care for and fix a home.

Renting seems “easier”. You don’t have to worry about the wear and tear on the home, or really anything except what’s yours. Renter’s insurance, utilities, and sometimes homeowners’ association fees are typically the extent of your costs. Otherwise, the owner (landlord) has to maintain the home to deliver “comfortable” living.

When you look at it this way, renting seems like a no-brainer. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In as much as renting vs. buying is a lifestyle decision, it’s (obviously) a financial one. For many weighing the options, the monthly payment is the biggest factor. Will I pay the same, or more, for rent each month as I will for a mortgage, insurance, and taxes … without owning anything at the end of the term?

That’s why the timing of the rent vs. buy question is also so relevant. These days in the Atlanta market, renting has been hot. More and more people from all age groups and family compositions have been renting these last few years. This increased demand has driven up prices, as has the limited number of available single-family home rentals. Both add up to make the perceived cost savings of renting less obvious.

Don’t forget the still-low interest rates too. And that homes are available in every price range…all around intown. Even more now that we’re approaching the spring. For those interested in up and coming areas like the southwest and west sides around the Atlanta BeltLine, including Adair Park (recently named Atlanta’s “hottest community”), Summerhill, Capitol View, and others, new listings are coming on the market daily.

What should YOU do? Weigh your options…in the framework of your own priorities, budget, and timelines. These are only a few of the most obvious checks and balances to think through. You have many others to consider, including the possibility of staying where you are to renovate what you already own.

Let us help you. We’re here to give you what you need to live inside Atlanta’s perimeter…whether you’re already here or not. Our resources will help you make the tough decisions, and find the solutions that work best for you. Live ITP. Love ITP. Buy ITP. Rent ITP.

No matter what you do, please use a licensed REALTOR® – like us – to protect yourself*.

Live ITP Atlanta. Contact us today.

* According to research by the Atlanta Board REALTORS®, less than 50% of active real estate licensees are REALTORS®, a member of a governing Board of REALTORS®.

Only REALTORS® can:

  • Use Association approved, Georgia specific legal contracts
  • Access market specific forums and a national resource center
  • Take advanced education on current tools, industry certifications, and the latest trends with industry leaders creating the standards