Is it better to rent or buy? That depends on your goals

Rent Housing

Housing prices are climbing ever higher, and that means how much you’re paying to rent is climbing, too. So it is better to continue renting, or should you be doing everything possible to get into a mortgage?

The answer is complicated.

Housing prices are going up because fewer new homes are being built and more people are looking to buy.

Local real estate agent Eric Gaines said the main factor to consider is whether you’re willing to stay in one location for an extended period of time.

“Rent if you just graduated from college and you’re not sure if your job is going to be here in Tuscaloosa or if it is going to be in California or New York,” Gaines said. “If you know you have the right job opportunity and your family is here, then you should definitely consider purchasing.”

Keller Williams Real Estate Agent Royce Dickerson said some of the advantages of renting is if something happens to your home, that’s your landlord’s problem and not yours. Another is flexibility, meaning you can move when your leasing agreement is up if you’re not fond of your home or its surroundings.

“Some of the cons to renting is that you are kind of at the beck and call of those different management companies, in terms of what you can do with that space, and the equity you might have,” Dickerson said. “That’s where I come in as a real estate agent, understanding that you are spending money every month on a property that you don’t own.”

Yes, renting keeps a roof over your head, but there’s no value outside that. With a mortgage, your monthly payment is going toward owning your home.

Duckworth-Morris Real Estate Agent Warner Johnson said it’s a seller’s market, meaning homes are going for more than asking price and they’re going fast.

“It goes back to their resources,” Johnson said. “If you have the resources to buy a home in this sellers’ market that we are in and that’s what you want to do then that’s what you should do.”

You can check right here for a state-by-state breakdown of rental prices. If you’re interested in figuring out if homeownership is a possibility, the New York Times has an excellent mortgage calculator right here.

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