In our mobile society today, is it better to rent or to buy?

Asked by David Barron, Jefferson Township, NJ Wed Nov 7, 2012

The first and foremost question that needs to be answered is, "How long do I plan to stay in this house?"

The average has been 5-7 yrs, but is that average getting shorter and what effects does not staying as long have on the costs of home ownership?

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Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Hello David,

This depends on how "mobile" the actual buyer/tenant is.

Some people stay in the same area all their lives, while others change contries, states & cities
every 5 years.

If a person is established financially, with reserve funds, savings etc. - currently, buying
seems like a good option (great interest rates, mortgage interest and property taxes deductions).
Plus, the prices/values are still low and will be increasing in the future.
Good time to get in on the homeownership train!

However, if homebuying is a stretch, and there are no reserves, and no money for maintenance and upkeep of the property - renting is the only good option, mobile or not.

If a prospective buyer/tenant career is the one that demands relocations,
and staying in one area will take only a year or two, then renting is probably better
(not enough home value to accumulate there to sell profitably within first 2 years of
ownership). If longer than 2 years residence - then, buying could be better, subject
to local market value growth.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
I personally make these decisions based on my needs today and how I wish to live, not 5-7 years from now. I have been in my current home since 1995, but had no idea at the time how long I would live in this location.

I understand that purchasing real estate is an investment vehicle...I rent those out.

This is my Home.
0 votes
Jacques Ambr…, Agent, Forest Hills, NY
Wed Nov 7, 2012
although this question is subjective, I feel it is always better to pay into a mortgage than rent. If you know you are going to move in 1-2 years, I would say rent, unless you feel the market is going to trend up, or you are getting a good deal. 3-5 years or more is a safe bet to buy.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2012
In my opinion it is always better to own than rent!
0 votes
Robert A. Ra…, , New York
Wed Nov 7, 2012
In my opinion it is always better to own than rent!
0 votes
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