To Buy, or Not to Buy? The Honest Pros and Cons
For generations, buying a home has been viewed as the ultimate measure of success. Property ownership is sort of Holy Grail, and, as a result, tenants feel increasingly stigmatised. But is it really that big of a deal? Have we simply been oversold the idea of homeownership? As with everything in life (except ice cream and shoes), both buying and renting has its pros and cons. Here’s what they are.
Renting has its benefits because:
Renting isn’t “throwing away money” - you actually get a place to live.
What you can afford as a tenant is usually way nicer and more spacious than what you can afford as a homeowner (especially true in London).
No need to worry about stamp duty fees, conveyancing fees, valuation fees, mortgage fees… the list goes on.
Repairs and maintenance bills aren’t your problem. As a tenant, you enjoy a (relatively) burden-free home life.
A report by Zoopla revealed that after seven years, the typical tenant in London is £82,412 better off than someone who buys an equivalent property with a 10% deposit.
You don’t have the same commitment as you would to your mortgage, allowing for more flexibility.
Buying has its benefits because:
- When you pay off your home, it’s all yours - you don’t have to worry about paying for somewhere to live.
You can invest in your home to help increase its value.
If your house does increase in value, you can earn a return or break even. You can use this equity to buy a bigger home.
Tax credits can ease some of the costs associated with homeownership.
You have home security. With renting, you always run the risk of being made to move by your landlord.
The freedom to do as you please in your property - have parties, own pets, paint walls - can be hugely liberating.
What’s right for you?
At the end of the day, you have to decide what works best for you. Maybe the idea of committing to a mortgage is simply too stressful, or perhaps you’d rather own a modest home in the suburbs than rent in the Zone 1 London. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer, so listen to your reason assess various resources and only do what works for you.