Deciding whether to rent or buy may seem like a big decision, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. The key is to take a hard look at your finances and lifestyle and pick the path that best suits you. Be honest about where you can cut back and what’s a deal breaker for you, and remember, there are no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ decisions. Here’s our short guide to both options to help you decide.
Buying is a sensible route for people with healthy savings and a good understanding of their area. Renting is a better option for those with fewer pennies in the bank and who are a bit unsure about the local property market. Here are a few figures that might show you why…
- The average buyer puts down a 20% deposit.
- Repayments vary, but the average first-time buyer can expect to pay £1,300 per month. A mortgage calculator will give you an idea of what you can afford.
- With variable or tracker mortgages, interest rates can change and push monthly payments up or down.
- If property prices rise, you earn money from your investment. If they fall, you may be in negative equity and moving house may become difficult.
- The average deposit for a private rental property is around £800, which is returned if the property is undamaged when you leave.
- Monthly rents are fixed for the term of your tenancy agreement, usually 12 months.
- Your money goes to the landlord, rather than into an investment.
If you’re thinking about sticking around an area for the long term or want to put your personal mark on a property, buying should be on your radar. Renting better suits those who like to move around a lot, without the stress of managing and maintaining a property. Here’s why…
- You’re responsible for all repairs and maintenance.
- You can decorate and renovate however you want.
- You can also keep pets, smoke and do as you please.
- The cost of moving is higher and includes extras like estate agent fees, surveys and solicitors.
- Your landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs – you just need to look after the interior and garden.
- Decorating normally requires your landlord’s approval.
- Contract terms may prevent you from keeping pets or smoking in the property.
- Moving is quicker and easier – some contracts even have six-month break clauses.
Of course, no decision is final. It’s always worth revisiting your options as your situation (and the property market) changes.