What Do I Do Rent, Buy, Etc?

Updated on January 27, 2010
C.H. asks from Lincoln, NE
12 answers

How do you choose to rent or buy a house?

I've looked into rentin a house. But in the area I'd be movin into is rent is really expensive. I've looked into buyin a house in the area I'd be movin to. Found out buyin in the area is cheaper than rent. Also....I have to keep in mind. Is my boyfriend / fiance is suppose to enherit the family farm. But who knows when that'd be. I'm not sure what to do. He was orig suppose to move up here. But family problems came up and he was unable to.

So....what do we do in the mean time?

Any help would greatly be appreciated.


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answers from Sheboygan on

You are asking some major questions here! I think your biggest problem is the unknown...you are uncertain about a lot of things. If I were you I would rent, for now. Try finding a place where you can have a month-to-month lease. That way if you decide to buy you won't have to wait for the lease to expire. Good luck and don't jump into anything to quickly...do your homework first!

C., I just looked at some of your older posts and, quite frankly, am concerned about you and your son. In October you posted that you are ready to get back into the dating scene. Two weeks ago you were concerned about not hearing from your fiance for weeks. And now you are going to move two states away to be with him? Two weeks ago you referred to him as your fiance, now as your boyfriend/fiance. Have you really thought this through? Things are moving really fast here and you seem to have a lot of unknowns/questions about your fiance/boyfriend and the area you are moving to. Please, for the sake of yourself and your son, have a good heart-to-heart with yourself before junmping into anything. Do you have a trusted friend, parent, or clergy person you can talk to? I really would hate for you to uproot your life only to end up in a bad situation. Good luck and take care of yourself!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Unless you are talking about buying being at least over $400 less a month then rent Renting is not more expensive. You have to remember all the expenses of things that could go wrong that you would get fixed for free by a landlord that you would have to pay out of pocket yourself if you owned. Also are you factoring in property tax? Also you don't sound like to are ready for a long term commitment. You can loose a lot of money in the long run if you arn't ready to commit.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

If you have a lot of questions about the future it might be best to rent until you get it figured out. If you use a realtor it will cost $$ on both ends that takes a lot to recoup. While it might be cheaper to buy in the long run- in the short term if you ended up moving quickly it could cost you more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

To me it sounds like renting is a better option for now. I wouldn't buy a house in this economy unless you plan on staying there for a while. Yes, house prices are pretty good and you get a tax credit... BUT if you move in a year it could still be very hard to sell or who knows home prices could go down more and you would loose money. Also you need to remember that if you own a house you are responsable for property taxes and fixing any problems yourself... ie: roof, broken heater, new carpet, water softer. Also do you own a lawn mower? Shovel? Tools? Owning a house is a much bigger expense than just paying the house payment a month....

We have rented for 7 years, I would love to own a house, but stuff has always come up which makes us need to move... Someday :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cedar Rapids on

I am a single mom with two young kids. If you qualify to buy I would encourage it. Two things to qualify that though: Can you manage the upkeep? The lawn mowing, cleaning the gutters, painting, all the bills, repair issues, tree trimming? If you cannot, maybe buying a condo is the way to go. Also, in this market, while you might get a deal on purchasing a home it could be difficult to re-sell if you need to do so before the market goes back up. Unless you have a high-demand area. Otherwise, buying your own home is a dream come true let me tell you!\
Hope this helps-

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I'm very curious when you say that buying is cheaper than renting, do you mean just the mortgage payment vs the rent amount? You can't calculate how much mortgage will be until you know how much you can put as a down payment on the house, because if you don't have a lot to put down, that will bring up your payments. Plus, when you own, you have to pay taxes and homeowners insurance so make sure you are factoring in that cost. Then, you have to make sure you are able to squirrel away money every month to have a good amount of money when repairs come up because as a homeowner you have to pay for eveything yourself as opposed to calling a landload. Look into a home that you can "rent to own" would be your best option if that's available to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


First of all it would be easier if you would use the correct endings in your posts. You are "moving" and are wondering if "renting" or "buying" is better. Do not depend on your fiance's inheritance. You need to provide for yourself and your child. Currently, this is a buyer's market and prices of houses should start going up again soon, so by the time your fiance inherets (if) you will already have a house that is worth more than you paid for it. Find youself a good realtor and figure out what you can afford and what you can be approved for. If you can't get approval for a loan then you will have to look at renting. So, in order to really make your decision you first need to find out if you qualify for financing. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

If you are financially able to buy and this is the area that you want to live in, then I say buy! Houses are really cheap right not and there is still a homebuyers tax credit out there. It is cheaper to buy and you will be building equity into the house. The future can change and you never know what it will bring so you don't know when your fiance is going to inherit the farm. If he ended up inheriting it early or you decided to move to him, you can always rent your place out. You already know that renting is more expensive so you would most likely make all your money back each month with a renter.

I wrote the above paragraph before reading a lot of the other answers and after I read them, I wanted to add this piece. A lot of the other answers seem very negative. First of all, I don't think that adding "ing" to your verbs changes what any of us know that you mean. I think that it is ridiculous that people are critizing your grammer when this is supposed to be a forum for help. (sorry just had to put that in there).

Anyways, I'm not sure if you have just started thinking or if you have truly started the process but I disagree that every home buyer absolutely knows. There are a lot of questions when it is your first home. It is very important to do your research and it might seem daunting at first, but if you put in the time and effort, you will figure it out. Yes, when you rent, the landlord will fix things that break, so you don't have that expense but if a mortgage would be significantly cheaper each month, then you can save some of the difference for house repairs that might come up. Also, if you look into townhouses, then you won't be responsible for any of the outside maintenace (although you pay an association fee for this so you should make sure to add that into your monthly mortgage fee).

I would agree that talking to a lender is the first step. They can discuss the different types of mortgages out there and they can help see what you qualify for based on income, credit etc. Having a pre-approval letter helps you know what you can afford and also makes you more appealable to sellers because they know you have the financing taken care of.

If you don't have a lot of money saved up, there are first-time homebuyer programs out there (depending on the city) that you might qualify for.

Buying a home is a very large step but that shouldn't scare you away. If it is truly what you want, then you can figure it out. Email me privately if you have any other questions and I can try to answer them for you.

Good luck with your decision.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I'm with Debbie. C....it sounds like you aren't thinking through things long term at all. Perhaps you should stay put for a year, save some $ and then move. If you boyfriend/fiance is really the one, it shouldn't be a problem for either of you. I find this question a bit bizarre because people who are ready to buy homes, know that they are ready to buy...they've done research, they've saved money, gotten pre-approved for loans, decided on a neighborhood they want to reside in for at least 5 years, checked out the crime stats in that area, checked out the best school districts and more. I don't think you're in any way ready to buy but good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Depending on your income, owning a home has many tax benefits when you file your income taxes at the end of each year. Here are a few tax credits that I'm aware of:

*Deducting the cost of any points you might have paid when securing a mortgage;

*Tax credits towards any improvements you make that would increase the energy efficiency of the house (new windows, storm doors, etc.);

*Tax credits for the interest you paid on the mortgage and real estate taxes you pay.

Why not speak with a tax accountant before you make the leap? S/he could help you figure out the best decision for your situation. Good luck.

UPDATE: A few have suggested you speak with a mortgage lender to help you figure out how much of a mortgage you can afford and what you qualify for. In light of the current mortgage crisis, unscrupulous mortgage lenders have been more than happy to lend you the maximum amount possible whether it's realistic or not. I'm sure the restrictions are tighter now, but I think you should speak with a tax accountant first for more practical advice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

Well you also have to calculate utilities. Are any of those included in the rent? You will obviously be responsible for all utilities if you buy. You also have to pay property taxes if you buy and you will be responsible for any issues that arise such as broken pipes, roof repair, etc. and all maintenance is on you. All of these things can add up and make renting less expensive than buying. It can take ages to sell a house so if your boyfriend were to inherit the family farm you might still be stuck with a mortgage that you have to pay for who knows how long, if you do a month to month lease or a 6 month lease you would be out of it more easily and faster. Also, generally you do not recoup your costs or make a profit if you sell a house without having lived in it for at least 5 years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sheboygan on

I am both a realtor and a landlord so my answer comes from both sides. Buying a home is definitely cheaper than renting and when you do inherit the family farm you can sell the home that you had purchased and maybe even make some money off of it. On the other hand if you rent, you do not have to be responsible for normal repairs on the home, the only other issue with this is how long before you inherit? Most landlords are now doing a 1 year lease, and do you want to be renting for a few years instead of owning your own place to do as you wish? Good luck in whatever choice you make.

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