If you rent an apartment in Raleigh, NC and are considering future homeownership, here are some things you should consider while you make that important decision. Homeownership isn't for everyone. Three of our contributing writers explain the most important things to consider when deciding to rent or buy a home. Here is what they had to say:
1.The reality is you're almost guaranteed to spend more every month than you'll plan for if you've never owned a home.
To start, you need to budget for the following things:
- Property taxes
- Additional insurance like flood or earthquake, not covered by your regular policy
- Utilities you're not paying for now, like trash pickup, water, and gas
- Services, like lawn or pool maintenance, or the cost (and time) to do them yourself
- Repairs and maintenance; replacing old appliances
Those are just the basics to keep your home livable.
You'll find things you want to change as well, like a flower bed, or new tile in the bathroom, or old, worn carpets. And I can tell you from experience how a small, few-hundred-dollar update can balloon into a full-on demolish-and-rebuild project costing thousands of dollars. And over time, you'll have more of these projects that need to be taken care of as your home ages.
Also understand that it will cost more time and money than renting, and you need to be prepared financially and emotionally for that commitment.
2. One thing that should be a major factor in your decision of whether or not to buy a home is the length of time you plan on living there. If there is a chance you'll stay for less than a few years, it might not be worth it to buy.
In other words, in order for a house to be worth buying, you need to keep it long enough to overcome your closing expenses (both buying and selling) as well as commissions you pay. If you stay in the house for a short period of time, this is unlikely to be the case. In fact, you may even lose money if you sell too soon after buying.
3. One of the greatest myths about buying a house is that it's a great investment. Nothing could be further from the truth, and there are huge opportunity costs to take into consideration.
That's not to say you should never buy a house. There are lots of non-financial reasons to do so. But just make sure you're not buying because it's a "great investment."
The Motley Fool