Buying vs. Renting: What's Best for U?

To buy… or to rent? Which one makes sense for your family as well as your finances? This question leaves many stumped, so let’s break down the pros and cons.



You can do whatever you want! Within reason of course. When you purchase your own home, you own the land, meaning you don’t have anyone to answer to if you want to change the color of the walls, do a remodel, or redo the landscaping. Your home is your oyster to incorporate the home aesthetics you’ve always wanted.

It’s an investment. When you buy a home, you’re investing in yourself and the land. When your home’s value appreciates, you’re building equity. Just continue to complete regular maintenance and take care of the home. If you go to move in the future, you may end up with a return on your investment, making more than what you bought the house for!

Mortgage stays the same. The most that will fluctuate in your mortgage is the escrow amount, which includes your property taxes and PMI. Otherwise year after year, you can count on paying the same every month. In fact, it may even be cheaper to own a home rather than rent on a month to month basis. Since 1980, apartment rentals have increased at a steady 8.85% per year, leaving the average rental payment around $1,388 as of August 2022. Based on the most recent American Housing Survey, monthly mortgage payments are around $1,100. So the best monthly financial decision might be to buy a home.


Things break. There aren’t house elves who take care of your property. That’s up to you. Owning your own place means completing routine maintenance and taking on unexpected expenses with the plumbing, electrical, AC system, and more. When they break, you eat that cost.

Hard to qualify. We’re talking about a house with some kind of land. Unless you have the cash outright (good for you, if you do!), you’ll be looking at qualifying for a mortgage. Like any loan, you’re going to need to meet a list of requirements the lender needs “proof” that you’ll pay the money back and you’re a good risk.

Extra costs. Not only do you need a down payment and closing costs to buy a house, but there are other extra costs you don’t think of once you move, especially if it’s your first home. If you’re a first-time home buyer, then you need the spare cash to buy kitchen essentials, furniture to fit your new home, a lawn mower and landscaping equipment, and everything else you may not think of when going into a home purchase.



No property tax bill! Not the owner of your space? Fewer bills for you, such as the annual property tax bill which increases and decreases based on the whims of your community.

Flexible. At an apartment, you’re only renting for a short period of time. Usually, leases run from 6 months to a year. That means you’re only tied to that place for the short term, and yet, there are ways to break that lease if you decided to move halfway through your rental term agreement (but this costs money). You have the flexibility to move from state to state every year if you wanted. Versus once you’re locked into a mortgage, it’s harder to have the mobility since most mortgages have 15 to 30 year terms.

Not your problem. Toilet broken? AC stopped working? Sink is leaking? Not your problem. It’s up to the landlord of the property to maintain and fix everything that is broken. So you don’t need to worry about having an emergency fund for when things break in your rental.


Rent could be raised. No one likes unexpected surprises, especially if it involves re-budgeting your monthly rent payment. Since you’re not the owner of the property, the landlord can decide to increase rent prices without much justification and additional benefits or features. That could leave you in a sticky situation if you’re struggling to make ends meet as it is.

No equity for you. If you’ve been living in an apartment and want to move to a house, you’ll be starting from scratch when it comes to finances. While living in the apartment, you’ll need to figure out how to put extra money aside to save for a down payment. All the money you’ve been paying to live in an apartment and the value that has been gained belongs to the landlord. You don’t earn equity or gain any investment when living in an apartment.

Limited freedom in design. Tired of the outdated kitchen or paint colors in your apartment? Unless you get approval from the landlord, you won’t be able to make any changes. The landlord has the final say about what to paint the walls and what appliances should occupy your kitchen... anything and everything that requires altering the property. If there is a certain aesthetic you’re going for in your living space, unless it’s temporary or removable, you can’t do it until you move into a home of your own.

There are many other factors that go into buying vs. renting, so at the end of the day you need to determine what’s important to you. Owning a home that you have complete control over, but has a bigger upfront cost? Or, a flexible living space that you can pick up and move on a dime? Choose the option that best supports your lifestyle.