Should I Rent or Buy a Home?

How to find houses for rent in your area

The decision to rent or buy a home is a big one.  Buying a house is the most expensive purchase a person will ever make.  Finding a home for rent can be easy to do and easy to deal with.

Consider these facts:

  • In 2013, the median rent for homes in the United States was $903.
  • In 2013, the Census reported that 36% of U.S. were rentals.
  • Most rental leases run 12 to 18 months.
  • Single-family homes account for $35 of rentals.
  • If someone plans to spend less than 10 years in a home, renting is cheaper than owning in most cities (as of 2012).
  • Maintenance and repairs cost homeowners between 1 and 4% of the home’s value each year.

When Is Renting a Better Idea?  

The decision between renting and buying a home
should be based on where a person is in their life and what they want out of it.  Younger students and professionals may not plan to stay where they are for long and don’t have the time and money to deal with maintenance issues.  A lot of people like calling a landlord when something breaks, like the air conditioner.  For these people getting a home to rent is a better option.  So, too is this option good for people who may plan to stay in an area for a short time and then move, say if they’re work requires they spend a set amount of time in a different city or state.

Where Can I Find Houses for Rent Online?

The starting point for finding a home for rent has to be Craigslist but there are other options.  All newspapers put their listings online.  You can also look to Facebook groups focused on the area for ideas.  Realtors list rentals on their sites.

When Is Buying a House Better than Renting?

Again, this comes down to a person’s place in their life.  If someone has found the place they want to live for a long time and has the money to invest, the decision to buy a house may be easy.  Finding a home for rent may be easier because people know they aren’t going to live there forever but buying a home to buy is a different animal all together.

What About Rent to Own Houses? 

A lot of people find this option works for them at many stages of their lives. Nearly 79% of people who do this are between the ages of 18 and 44.  That’s a fairly large gap.

This can be a good option for the home owner and the would-be homebuyer.  The latter wants to sell the house but the former either doesn’t have the money now or the credit to make the purchase.  The would-be homebuyer is essentially a renter.  Each month they pay rent on the property with a portion going towards a downpayment.  At the end of a set period, usually a few years, the renter can purchase  the home.  This can be good for the homeowner who does have this rent as income for that time. The most important part of this arrangement is having everything in writing at the beginning. It is crucial that both parties are on the same page with the legalities and what is expected of both sides.

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