NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Rent or Own

Rent or Own


          The choice between buying a home and renting one is among the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. The costs of each are many and varied which makes it difficult to tell which is a better deal. Of the many factors to be considered are:

          How Long Do You Plan to Stay? Buying tends to be better the longer you stay because the upfront fees are spread out over many years. The old rule of thumb was that you needed to be in a place for at least three years to overcome the costs of purchase. If you're moving to a new city, it might make sense to rent initially, to become better acquainted with the area and have more info on where you would like to live.

          What Are You as a Home Owner Responsible For?  Owning a home comes with a surprising variety of expenses that renters do not directly pay.  The annual amount you will spend for maintaining or repairing your home, as well as for renovations can add up quickly and impact not only the future selling price of your home but also your comfort level while living in the home. Property taxes and mortgage-interest costs can be significant but are also deductible. 

          Do you value freedom or control?  Being a renter has its advantages. The landlord is responsible for fixing many of your problems and handling much of the month-to-month maintenance. You are free from those challenges, just as you are free to leave at the end of your lease.  As an owner, you have more responsibility but you also have control over your space. You want to install a sound system or ceiling fans? You want to paint the front door red? Your choice!

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