To Rent or To Buy?
Should I rent or should I buy my home? This is a question that so many have asked over the years and a question where there is no clear-cut answer.
For many of us, the majority of our money each month will go towards our rent or mortgage. Here at Frugal and Fun, our emphasis is on being careful with your money and making it go as far as possible. To give you some food for thought (and hopefully help you avoid some costly mistakes), we are looking at a few of the advantages and disadvantages of both renting and buying in 2021.
How many times have you heard that to rent is just throwing your money away? You end up paying someone else’s mortgage with nothing to show for it. Like every option there are pros and cons to renting.
Advantages of Renting
Less initial outlay
You’ll usually be asked to pay one month’s rent upfront and provide a deposit equal to about one month’s rent.
Freedom to relocate
Most tenancy agreements are 12months long and some have a break clause meaning that with one months notice you can move to a new property and a new area. This gives so much more freedom when it comes to job hunting and relocating.
Renting Top Tip – Reputable Letting Agent & Know Your Rights
If you are renting though a Lettings Agent then make sure they belong to a professional body such as Propertymark (ARLA), UKALA, etc. If they are managing the property then you will have to deal with them for the duration of the tenancy so you want to make sure they’re good to deal with. Tenants have a whole host or rights; Citizens Advice is a great source of information.
Disadvantages of Renting
Less long-term stability
Should your landlord decide to sell the property or stop letting it, then you’ll need to look for another place to live.
What about retirement?
If you have lived in rented accommodation your whole life what will happen when you retire? Will your pension cover the cost of your rent? Remember that rent is likely to increase over the years.
For most people, the dream is to own your own home. But surely if it were that simple wouldn’t everyone be a homeowner?
Advantages of Buying
Mortgage rates are currently low
Mortgage rates are at all an all time low. It’s a fantastic time to buy if you’re in a position to.
Ease of information (Online tools)
If you’re just toying with the idea of buying but not sure what you can afford, what deposit you would need, etc. then Mortgage Calculator UK have simple to use online tools.
Long term security
With every mortgage payment you make you are one step nearer to owning your own home. In our later years, the knowledge that we own our home and no longer have to make mortgage or rent payments brings great peace of mind and security.
Buying Top Tip – Choose a Good Solicitor
We know that buying a house is costly but don’t be tempted to cut corners. Just because a solicitor belong to a big firm it doesn’t mean they’re automatically good. A good solicitor is instrumental in pushing the sale forward in a timely manner.
Ask for recommendations from your mortgage broker or estate agent but do practice caution as some will get a fee for referring clients. Always, always check out reviews online to see what past clients have to say about them. Also ask friends and family if they have used a good solicitor.
Disadvantages of Buying
Buying a house is a costly business, you need to factor in the deposit, stamp duty, solicitor fees, estate agent fees (if you’re also selling), surveyors fees, removal costs, etc. According to Compare My Move, on average for a 3 bed house worth £267,000, the basic outlay needed to buy is £30,271. What stops many from getting onto the property ladder is the savings that are needed. The government have some initiatives to try and help people onto the property ladder. For the financial year 20/21, the governments popular Help to Buy scheme helped a record breaking 55,000 households purchase a property.
Long term commitment
If you need to relocate or should your relationship breakdown, the selling process will take longer than moving from rented accommodation.
So Which Is Best?
During the pandemic we spent more time than ever in our homes. Whether it’s best to rent or buy will depend on the stage you are in your life, how settled you are an area, your finances, etc. There’s no one size fits all but I hope this blog post has given you some food for thought.