It’s an age-old question: should you rent, or should you buy? Everyone’s financial situation is different, which will play a part in what you feel comfortable doing. Some people will prefer to rent for the flexibility, while others want to enter the property market as soon as possible.
No option is more “right” than the other one. There are pros and cons to both renting and buying, and it’s worth considering both options before you commit to one. This is especially important for first home buyers, because going from renting to buying is a big life decision, whether you’re doing it alone or with someone else/other people.
If you’re on the fence about whether you should move from renting to buying, or vice versa, then it’s worth talking with people who are in similar situations or have recently made the move you’re considering.
What are some of the benefits of renting?
- Property maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord.
If you’ve ever lived anywhere for a significant period of time, then you’ll know how much wear and tear goes into maintaining the place. Ensuring a home is in tip-top shape takes money, and the costs of these repairs can quickly stack up. When you’re renting, these costs are not your concern. Instead, they’re the responsibility of the landlord.
- Upfront costs are lower compared to buying.
There are comparatively low upfront costs of renting when compared to buying, as well as no maintenance costs. This means you can put this money towards things like studying, travel and/or getting a pet. You’re not financially tied down by needing to maintain the property you’re living in.
- More flexibility.
Renting also offers you more flexibility when compared to buying a house. You’re not required to commit long-term to a mortgage, so you can decide to move at the end of your rental’s lease. This is ideal for people that enjoy travelling or want to move interstate/overseas. In comparison, selling a house and moving can be a lot more time-consuming, so moving far away becomes a much more complicated process.
What are some of the downsides of renting?
- Unable to make home modifications.
While it is true that renting is more flexible, it also means you have less control over the changes that are made to your home. Want to add a new room? It’s not generally possible when you’re renting. Need to change the way a room functions? You’ll have to speak to the landlord. Every landlord is different but needing their approval to make changes can dampen your creativity when it comes to interior/exterior design.
- No equity.
Renting also doesn’t build equity. Paying a landlord means they’re seeing the benefits of your money, not you. Your money ends up working for them. If you’re looking to gain some long-term value from your property-related payments, then it may be worth considering buying a property if it’s within your financial means. As always, it’s important to consider your unique financial situation before making any decisions.
What are some of the positives of buying a house?
- It could help improve your financial circumstances.
Buying a home may help you improve your financial position. Buying a home is a way of building equity. When you put money towards your mortgage, you build usable equity. Many people take out mortgages when buying a house, and these payments could help them develop sound financial habits as they look to make their mortgage repayments according to their payment schedule.
- You’re able to make home modifications.
It’s also a lot easier to transform your home when you’ve bought it. Decided your bathroom needs an upgrade? Find the time and money and it can become a reality. Feel like the house could use a splash of paint? Put aside a weekend to make it happen. When it comes to owning a house, you can decide how it looks and how it functions – which isn’t usually possible when you’re renting.
What are some of the negatives of buying a house?
- It has much higher upfront costs.
There are also a couple of downsides to buying a home that are worth considering. Buying a home has much higher upfront costs, and you’re responsible for any maintenance/repairs that might be required on your property. This also applies if you’re looking to add value to your home by completing renovations and extensions. The prices of material and labour are increasing, which means the cost of upkeep is also rising.
- The property market fluctuates.
Owning a home also means you may find yourself at the mercy of the property market. This is beneficial when prices go up, but if prices dip because of economic conditions and you want to sell, you may find yourself losing money on your purchase, or not making as much money as you may have otherwise. For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released data that during the September quarter, the total value of Australian residential dwellings fell $358.9 billion to $9,674.4 billion ($9.674 trillion)1.
Interested in buying a home, but find yourself wondering how you can finance it? If you’re a first home buyer, it’s worth looking into the first homeowner grants that are available to you (this varies state by state). You may also be eligible for a stamp duty discount or exemption if you don’t qualify for any grants, but only if you’re a first home buyer.
To help make your dream home a reality, we offer a range of competitive home loans to suit most financial situations. Whether you’re looking for a basic home loan or something more customised (including how you want to split the variable and fixed portions of the home loan), we may offer a loan that is right for you.
Interested in buying a home, and want to learn more about Qudos Bank’s home loans? Call us on 1300 747 747.
 Total Value of Dwellings, September Quarter 2022 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/total-value-dwellings/latest-release)
The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
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Published April 2023