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is it better to rent or buy when first getting a home?

  • October 01 2013 - US
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Answers (12)

In my opinion  it is always better  to rent for 6 months to a year when moving into a new area.
Once  you have established yourself  and your family  in the community you will have a better idea  of what part of town your permanent location should be.

If  all your interest are on the north side of town why would you want live on the south side of town?
  • October 09 2013
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There is nothing wrong with renting first. Of course it could depend on your ccredit score and ability to buy a home at whatever stage you are at, if you hhave great credit and feel financially ready to buy a home, that might not bbe a bad idea either.
  • October 09 2013
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Rent first. There is nothing wrong with renting despite what most people will tell you. You have plenty of time to buy your first place. Get a feel for the area and neighborhood. Get used to living in a house. Then figure out your WHY.

Here are a few articles that may be useful 
[Promotion and multiple hotlinks removed by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy.]
  • October 09 2013
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
I would recommend renting first.  When you are first starting out it can be hard to juggle the added expenses of utilities and rent.  See how you do for a year.

In the meantime explore areas where you might like to live.  Learn what the average sale price is in that location. 

You can find mortgage calculators on the internet.  Plug in the numbers and see how much the payment would be for a home which appeals to you.  Compare that to your rent payment and current expenses.  Your mortgage payment will also have to include taxes and insurance.

You will more than likely need a calculator that will also calculate PMI.
If you have a small down payment you will more than likely need an FHA loan which requires monthly PMI. Compare the numbers.
  • October 06 2013
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If you are a pet lover, buying may be your best option. Many landlords won't take pets even with a pet deposit. Pet deposits can be expensive and may be non-refundable. Just something else to be aware.
  • October 06 2013
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it can be risky but for the most part if you can buy you will get more home for your money than renting. You also will receive some tax benefits by buying ( any tax professional can explain) you build equity and have the pride of ownership. There can be few drawbacks like repairs are needed, upkeep required, and generally moving a lot isn't good. Good Luck
  • October 03 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
There are many times when renting is a far better option than buying.

Are  you ready to buy?    Perhaps if:

You have a great savings account including down payment, closing costs and a substantial emergency fund (I believe in six months of expenses or 4% of the house cost as a minimum).

You have a good job and expect to be in the area for at least five and better  10 years or longer.

You aren't planning life changes that will result in dramatic changes in housing needs (such getting married; adding several children; adding a few horses or ???)

You have great credit.

There are many people who've regretted buying too soon.  Don't be one of them! 

Here's a link to Zillow's article on owning vs renting.



  • October 03 2013
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Profile picture for Ashley Pirko
My opinion across the board is to always buy! Renting is simply taking your money and throwing it on someone else's mortgage!
  • October 03 2013
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If your position is one that is up and down it could be a tough choice. Something you may want to look into is a rent-to-own possibility.  This way perhaps you can get a better handle on what direction your position is going and make changes if needed.

In our area rentals are more expensive than mortgage payments for a home in some cases.  Take your time and do not make any commitment until you are sure that you will feel comfortable with the result be it buying or renting.
  • October 03 2013
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In most markets it is still cheaper to own than to rent and should remain this way until rates are above 6.5%
  • October 01 2013
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Like any investment, real estate can be risky.  It can also be a solid investment.  It depends what the market is doing and what your situation will be in the next few years.  If you can plan on staying in a home for several years, it might be a good time to buy now with interest rates still relatively low and home prices down.  In my area of Florida, we still have opportunities to pick up low-priced properties.  In our area, rents are going up and rental property is in great demand, driving rental prices up. 

If your area home prices are projected to go up, now may be the time to buy.  I recommend contacting a lender and seeing what type of home you could afford and what terms you will be offered on financing.  Consider all the pros and cons before jumping into the market, and you'll make the right decision for you!

Carol Claudon
CENTURY 21 Top Sales
Seminole, FL
  • October 01 2013
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Profile picture for broker_GRI
It really depends on so many things. How long you expect to stay, is your job relatively secure, what is the mortgage compared to rental costs. Do you want to settle in and be that responsible? If you are unsure, you can rent for a year (or do a month to month rental) while doing the research into purchasing.

Wish you much luck
  • October 01 2013
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