Renting vs. Buying: What You Need to Know

Sponsored by: Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty

At some point, most people have been renters – whether as college students, newlyweds or during a period of transition to a new city or season of life. There are times when renting an apartment or house makes sense. But in the long run, buying your own home brings many more benefits than renting.

As a renter, you’re simply giving money to the property owner who uses it to pay the home’s mortgage, taxes and insurance as well as any maintenance costs. You’re paying for the house with your monthly rent check, but you’re not reaping any of the financial benefits.

Buying a house, on the other hand, is an investment. The money you’re spending on housing each month will ultimately benefit you, not a landlord. It’s a big decision to buy and not a commitment to enter into lightly. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for a mortgage (probably for 30 years) as well as the taxes and insurance plus all the upkeep and maintenance that comes with homeownership.
So, yes, there’s a responsibility in owning a home but the benefits far outweigh what you gain from simply paying rent month to month.

  1. You put your money into the home and, therefore, build equity in something you own. You can reap the benefits of either paying off that mortgage down the road or making a profit on the home should you sell it at some point in the future. Make your hard-earned money work for you – not someone else.
  2. Typically, property increases in value over time so you can feel confident in your investment, knowing that your home will make you money.
  3. Save on unexpected moving costs or rent increases. You don’t have to worry about the landlord hitting you with a rent hike or suddenly deciding to sell the property, forcing you to make a speedy exit.
  4. Enjoy the tax incentives of home ownership. Property taxes and mortgage interest costs are tax deductible so you will benefit each year when you file your income taxes.
  5. Make a house a home. As a renter, you’re usually restricted in what changes you can make to house. Aside from maybe doing some painting, you can’t really modify the house to reflect your own tastes and personality. Plus, you don’t want t spend a lot of money sprucing up someone else’s house. When you own a home, you can paint the walls red, purple or orange if you want.

If you’ve been renting and are considering buying, it’s a great time to make the investment. Interest rates on home mortgages are low and, in Charleston, there’s a good amount of inventory on the market. Take a look at your current situation: if you have a steady job and no plans to move anytime soon, you’re in a good position to buy a house. And if you have some money saved up to put toward a down payment as well as moving expenses, you’re ideally situated to buy.

Once you’ve made your decision, contact a reputable real estate company like Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty that can walk you through the home-buying process from selection to negotiation to signing. That will eliminate some of the paperwork headaches and you can focus on the fun part – what color to paint the walls.