For the last 100 years, the American dream has been homeownership, a white picket fence, and a career that you’ll hold for over 40 years, but times have changed a lot. The average gen z or millennial adult swaps jobs every three years to seek out better pay and perks, and as they start buying homes, it’s clear they’re changing how they view that as well.
Suddenly instead of homeownership being the dream, it’s a conversation to be considered. It’s important to stop and think it over: is renting the right choice, or is it time to settle down and buy a home? Here are the top factors to consider for yourself.
1. What’s Your Financial Situation?
The rule of thumb used to be that you needed to work at your job for the last five to ten years before you should apply for a home loan, but that’s no longer the norm. Since the average person under forty changes jobs every three years, it’s more realistic to consider how much you’ve made over that time and your salary.
Have you made a steady enough income that you don’t have to fear losing your job or seeing a drop after you buy? Do you have large enough savings to handle the 10 to 20% of the house’s price that becomes the down payment? If you’re not there yet, you can always save up and consider buying later.
2. What Do You Want in a Property?
When you picture your home, what do you think of it? Do you want a property that you can customize and make your own by taking out walls and learning about concrete and masonry cleaner? Or do you picture a home that’s comfortable and beautiful, but you don’t have to lift a finger to fix it when the water heater goes out or the dishwasher floods?
If you picture yourself customizing and putting your own fingerprint on a home, you’ll have to buy it to do that in most cases.
3. Are You Planning Any Large Changes?
Large changes happen in everyone’s lives, but are you planning any? Do you think you’ll get married in the next five to ten years? Do you think you’ll have kids? These changes would decide how much property you could afford or how much space you’d need. Although you can easily sell your home to go back to renting or buy something different, it’s important to remember the average homeowner who went through a mortgage doesn’t stop paying off interest until they’re between five to ten years in.
4. Do You Have Time for Maintenance?
Maintenance is a pricy and time-consuming bit of work. From the time and labor of mowing the lawn and keeping up with the exterior of your property to the cost and time of replacing appliances, repairing broken fence slats, updating leaking windows, adding stone veneer interior walls, and so much more, homeownership is expensive.
Can you handle all of that? Or would you rather have someone else who you depend on to fix items, and although it might not always be on time, it’s always free as part of your rent?
5. What’s the Current Housing Market Like?
Right now, the current housing market has rent costing more than the cost of a house payment. This has tempted more people into the housing market that had been scared off during the rush between 2020 and 2022.
Although home values have slowed down and aren’t skyrocketing anymore, they are still slowly rising. This means that by owning a home, and slowly paying it off, you’re building equity and value that you can eventually cash in on. When you rent, you’re never going to see a cent that you put into those monthly payments.
6. Do You Have Issues With Neighbors?
One of the largest reasons people turn to buying instead of renting apartments is they get sick of the neighbors living above, beneath, and beside them. Unless you buy a duplex or a condo, the average property owner doesn’t have to deal with sharing a wall with a neighbor.
If you have problems with your neighbors and hate hearing them talk, stomp around, or smell them smoking, it could be time to buy your own property. Of course, if you don’t want to buy, you can always go for a fix like acoustic wall panels.
7. They’re Both Complicated Choices
If you’re still unsure about whether you should rent or buy, it’s a good idea to consider how much the costs will change over the next five to ten years. Rent has been rising around three to five percent a year over the last couple of years, but when you get a mortgage, you’re locked in yet still have to pay a large amount to maintain the property.
Think about what you’d rather put your money towards and where you see yourself in five to ten years. The answer might be easier than you think.
Rented or Purchased, You Deserve Your Dream Home
Whether you decide to rent and enjoy having maintenance, take care of the things you don’t want to, or you’re eager to buy and take on the rollercoaster of homeownership, the choice needs to fit both you and your lifestyle. Consider each of these ideas, and you’ll have an easier time choosing between the two.
Brian Jeffries is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on construction projects and materials. He lives in Winter Park, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Brian’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource.
Why Choose Pacific Communities
With over 30 years of home building experience specializing in constructing quality homes in Southern California, our team at Pacific Communities Builder is dedicated to creating the best valued home in every market. Since 1991, Pacific Communities has built more than 5,000 homes and developed more than 150 communities. The firm has expertise that spans the full range of residential building including attached and detached homes as well as master-planned communities. To find out more, visit our website at pacificcommunities.com to view all available communities and to schedule your appointment.
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