Rent vs Buy in Pittsburgh>Question Details

William Klip…, Home Buyer in Fredonia, KY

Pittsburgh, PA: Should I rent or buy a home?

Asked by William Klipfel, Fredonia, KY Thu Jan 27, 2011

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With interest rates where they are and Pittsburgh being a relatively stable market, I would suggest buying if you take your time and get the right house in the right location at the right price. You can't go wrong. Renting has way too many variables and way too many ways to lose. If you are only here for a short stay, you could consider one of the many new improved ARM mortgages that wipe out most of what people disliked about them in the past.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
Are you having trouble qualifying for a mortgage? Why are you considering buying? Will this be your first purchase?
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 24, 2011
I'd suggest buying. At these current rates and market conditions its ideal for buying. Just as long as you focus on the location at the right price!

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 28, 2011
If you're thinking of buying in Pittsburgh, you should know that Pittsburgh is one market that was not gravely effected by the real estate bubble that occurred between 2002 and 2006. Prices have depreciated somewhat, but the market here is stabilizing, and the outlook for 2011 is good--slow, but good.
There are tax breaks associated with owning your own home: interest is deductible, as well as transfer taxes from when you pruchase, and property taxes.
You will gain equity in your home. Money paid for rent is money down the tubes, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan.
Unlike rent, your mortgage payments don't change. Property taxes and insurance costs may rise, but your mortgage payment won't. Therefore, housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer.
There is freedom in owning your own home. You can decorate as you see fit, and benefit from your decorating and remodeling investment both while you live in the home, and when you sell.
There is stability to your life. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years provides one with the opportunity to establish lasting friendships, allows more participation in community activities, and, if you have children, they can benefit from educational continuity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
that's up to you... in my opinion i would much rather pay myself (and a little to a bank) before i hand all my cash to a landlord... i also like to be able to fix what needs fixin' instead of relying on a slum-lord to half-ass repair things (if he repairs them at all)... however, many in our society do not want any responsibility and/or do not have a lot of time on their hands for basic house-hold maintenance... if that is the case, then keep renting or maybe consider buying a condo or townhome with a home-owners association and maintenance contract. for more info on the buying process, see my website.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Hello William!

Answering that question is dependent completely on you. Ask yourself these questions. Do I know my credit score? If not, you qualifying for purchasing a home is based on your score. You'll want to check with a lender to see about getting your credit score to find out if you qualify. Another question is, do I have money saved to put toward the purchase of a home? Depending on the amount you qualify will determine the amount you need to have saved. Do you want home ownership responsibility? If so, then that is another reason to purchase rather than rent. Owning vs renting also gives you tax write-offs that you do not get with renting. If you don't have a credit score that qualifies you for a purchase, not much money saved or want the responsibilities that come with home ownership, then renting is the direction you should go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
If you are thinking long term.. BUY.
you save on taxes!
you build equity.
You settle down.
You become frugal.
You become good freinds with Home Depot!
When you retire, you have a paid off house, and no rent fees!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
As others mentioned it really does depend on how long you plan to be in your next residence. With record low interest rates and low home prices, there probably has never been a better time to buy in recent history. One of the first steps you should undertake is contacting a mortgage lender to see what you qualify for and how much your payment would be with owning a home. Qualifying a home buyer is my specialty. Call me if you wish to discuss.
Keith Landis
Flagship Mortgage Corporation
Office 412 567 6560
Cell 412 726 1654
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Trulia is itself a great resource to consult on this question -- the answer in a city like Pittsburgh is a bit less clear cut than in other cities, as you'll see if you check out this link. I moved here from New York City, where buying would almost never be an option. The variety of homes and price points in the Pittsburgh region means buying can make sense for almost anyone, but it's also offset by questions such as what kind of down payment you have, if you want to take on the added expenses of home ownership (property taxes, upkeep, insurance, etc), and how long you want to be in your area. Of course there's another separate list of benefits of owning over renting. Either way you choose, Pittsburgh's a good place to be.

Happy to help you if I can - Trulia and many other sites also offer rent vs. buy calculators to help you get a sense of specifics once you have an area and price in mind.

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
The answer to you question is like most common in Real Estate..."It Depends"
You need to ask yourself many questions.
Are you planning on staying in this area for a long period of time?
What location do I prefer?
How far from my job do I want to live?
How much can I afford to pay for housing on a monthly basis?
Can I afford to pay the closing costs?
Do I need to be close to schools?
Do I need to be close to transportation?

This list goes on and on.

For more indepth a Realtor for one on one consultation.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Buying versus renting is a question frequently considered. If you are going to be in the home for 2 years or less then renting may make more sense. But if you intend to stay longer buying is probably the way to go. I have been helping people find homes for 34 years and the one constant I have found is that the vast majority of people want to own their own home and that renting is just something you do until you can buy. What do you want to do? When you rent the landlord collects and you effectively pay his/her mortgage and usually the landlord is responsible for maintenance (some maintain the property well and some don't) and at the end of the lease you only have a pile of rent receipts. When you buy you have the pride of ownership, a home where you have the flexibility to make alterations and decorate as you desire, you are responsible for maintenance (so you know if it will get done), you do not have the concern that at the end of the lease the landlord will tell you to move, you may get a tax deduction from home ownership, and property values typically rise 4% to10% or more annually and even if they decline as the have been recently in many parts of the country, over a 5 to 10 year period values have historically risen substantially. Many studies show that while most areas of the nation have experienced price declines the Pittsburgh area values have actually increased 1% to 2% a year for the last couple years). Whether values rise or fall when you rent you get to live in the house and you have nothing when you move but when you buy you make mortgage payments and in the end when it's all paid off you still have a your home. Mortgage rates are low, and values are stable here, if your in it for the long run buy now if you can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011

I think that with interest rates where they are, now is a great time to buy depending on your financial situation. You should contact a reputable mortgage lender to see what you can afford.

copy and paste this link to review information that may help you.…

If you would like some information on rentals and available properties, please conact me, I would be happy to set you up an email notification for you to review .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Most stable real estate market in the Nation and interest rates at historic lows..... you buy.
That being said you still need to have good credit to get the rates that I'm referring to and you still need to be an educated consumer and make a sound investment. That is what all of us (Realtors) are here for!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
William owning a home is the American Dream! My recommendation would be to talk to a responsible lending professional and discuss your options. You would be surprised at the results. There are many lenders out there who will work with you in getting qualified for a mortgage & educate you on the home buying dynamics. A good agent to represent you in the process is also very important. Owning vs Renting makes more things possible for you & your family. The equity in the home you buy, making the monthly payments on a mortgage and many other things that come with home ownership, will help you grow financially.
Home price's in Pittsburgh were never escalated and there was never a bubble here to burst! Most of the first time home buyer's i've worked with have made money when they bought their home because in most case's the home already has equity in it when they buy. That's a good thing. Contact me sometime, I can point you in the right direction to speak to a lender who will work with you.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
Mr Klipfel
That depends on many factors. Your credit score will effect both what you can buy and how much you may need to put down as security to rent. Get your credit score and then you can compare. The answer is different for a person buying in 15220 that plans to be in this area for the next four or more years. a person with 580 should rent where a person with 780 credit score would most likely be better off in 4 years if they buy. Those in between require a closer look at the budget, space requirements. ages of children. Hope this has helped. If you want more specific information; Please email me at where we can discuss your information in confidence.
Benny Smith
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
It's not a simple answer. I'm across the state, and would be glad to help if I were local. I suggest you consider the following: 1) can you afford to own? consider all costs of ownership, not just mortgage , tax, insurance.. 2) will you be living in the area for at least a few years (i usually consider a minimum of 5-7 a decent enough time) 3) Do you want to own, and why? If it's for "investment" be very careful. Estimates vary, but be conservative on the expected "appreciation" because, as we've learned, that can be an issue. I don't know what the estimates are for your area over the next few years...SO......Please call an experienced Realtor, as well as a mortgage lender. For no cost, you can get accurate info. from these professionals that should help you make an informed decision. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
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