Considering all of the volatility in the housing market in recent years, does it really make sense to own a home? Or is it better to rent an apartment in Charleston, SC?
It used to be that the American dream included owning a home. Now the pendulum seems to have swung dramatically in the other direction. Since the housing bubble burst, some are beginning to rethink the conventional wisdom that owning a home is a good investment, even though declines in home prices have made purchasing and owning one somewhat more affordable.
Home prices and interest rates are only one consideration, as many found out during the housing market bust. Home ownership is great if are going to settle in the same place for around 10 years and can continue to afford the payments. Unfortunately, these circumstances can be unpredictable.
When deciding to buy or rent a home, financial considerations are important, but lifestyle issues should also be taken into account.
Be sure to consider everything when it comes to homeownership; benefits should be tempered by other considerations. Taking on a mortgage obligates you to live up to the terms of the loan for years, and homes typically require a significant investment in maintenance and occasional improvements. And as far as an investment, there's no guarantee you will be able to sell your property for more than what you paid for it.
Renting is a realistic starting point for most. As your savings grow and your credit score rises, you might be in a position to qualify for a mortgage and make the leap to home ownership. But choosing the right time to buy is important -- you need to feel secure that your sources of income will be there for the long run.
Lifestyle considerations. Personal traits and current life circumstances are other considerations as you assess whether to buy or rent.
Homeowners should be up to the task of maintaining their own property; from lawn work to minor home repairs. It also means being able to pay for professionals to do occasional work, including plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Renters enjoy a more maintenance-free lifestyle.
Another issue is the need for mobility. Those who are quite certain they can count on their job being in the same area can feel more comfortable making the jump to home ownership, provided they can afford it. Those who expect to be on the move for a job change or educational opportunities in the next three to five years might appreciate the relative mobility they have as a renter.
What's right for you?
There is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to the question of whether you should own or rent your home. A good starting point is to honestly answer questions such as:
Are you comfortable with your current life circumstances and income stability?
Are you disciplined in managing your expenses and paying off debts on a timely basis?
Are you fairly confident you won't be required to move to another city or area in the next five years for personal, work or education purposes?
Interested in renting in Charleston, SC? Contact Abberly at West Ashley Apartment Homes.