To buy or to rent - that is the question

After school, as you're getting your "real" life started - establishing a career, maybe getting married and starting a family - you need a roof over your head. But is it better to buy or rent a home?

There are pros and cons to both choices, and the answer depends on your individual circumstances and plans for the future. Here are some things you may want to consider when deciding.

Costs

During the economic slump, rental costs rose and home prices fell as many people moved from owning to renting. As the economy continues to improve, home prices are rising faster than rents, which are starting to flatten out.* However, home prices are still relatively low, and mortgage interest rates remain near historic lows. You might want to consider buying while the combination of reasonable home prices and low mortgage rates is still available.

Budget

If you're in an entry-level job and paying off student loans, money might be pretty tight now. A few years down the road, you may have landed a better-paying position and paid off other debt, which would put you in a better position for homeownership.

Flexibility

If you think you may want to move within a few years, renting might be a better option than buying. There are up-front costs associated with buying a home, so the longer you own the home, the better a deal it becomes.

Responsibility

A home needs regular maintenance to maintain its value. If you don't want to devote the time or money necessary for upkeep, you may prefer to leave all those details to a landlord.

We can help

A Think mortgage advisor can help you decide whether now is a good time for you to buy a home. They can explain options for making mortgage payments affordable and explore what fits into your budget. Visit one of our branches or call 1-800-288-3425 to speak with a mortgage advisor.


* Source: Trulia.com, April 4, 2013.

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