Video: Owning vs. Renting a Home

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This video provides clarity on the pros and cons of home ownership.

Video Transcript

DORIS: Welcome back to Property Hunters. First-time homebuyer Jen is about to take a tour of three potential properties. But first I want a—excuse me? Down here! But first I want to get a better sense of exactly what my client is looking for. Tell me about your absolute must-haves.

JEN: Hardwood floors and to feel like a real adult making progress in this world, and an open concept living space.

DORIS: What did you say?

JEN: It’s when the kitchen, like, flows into the living room.

DORIS: No, no, before that—you’re buying a house JUST to feel like a grown-up?

JEN: Well, it’s obviously better than renting… right?

DORIS: Anyone considering a move needs to understand the pros and cons of renting and homeownership before they make a decision either way.   

JEN: I’m guessing I won’t be touring houses today because Doris found out I didn’t do any research before coming on the show.

DORIS: That’s exactly right. Owning a home responsibly has long-term benefits. You don’t have to worry about your landlord not renewing your lease. A mortgage can be easier to budget for, too. You don’t have much control over increases in monthly rent, but renting does have short-term advantages, like mobility. Moving out is simpler. Plus, you can live and work in neighborhoods that would be out of your price range if you were limited to buying.

JEN: It’s a good point. Owning a home means I couldn’t just leave for a new job or something. It would complicate things.

DORIS: Maybe your family is growing, or maybe you just want that stability—either way, if you’re buying a house, you wanna make sure you’re sticking around for at least the next five years.

JEN: But what about the freedom? With my own place, I could finally paint the walls and have as many cats as I want to.

DORIS: Eek!

JEN: Oh, right. Sorry.

DORIS: As a legal owner, you’re not restricted by a rental agreement. The trade-off is that you have to deal with the never-ending cycle of upkeep and repair that comes with maintaining a property. It’s a huge responsibility that adds stress and expense. When you rent, your landlord takes responsibility for any major issues.

JEN: At least in theory. But why keep paying my landlord when I could be putting money toward my own home instead?

DORIS: People assume buying a house is a good investment, but the reality is that you can generate value by renting, too. You can profit from an increase in property value if and when you resell your house. This doesn’t apply to renting. Don’t forget that properties can lose value, too. Homeowners can choose to rent out their property as a source of income. Again, not applicable to renters. But your living expenses as a renter are simple compared to what ownership costs, which means you can invest the money you’d otherwise sink into your home and grow your wealth that way.

JEN: Owning and renting are just different. It’s not like one is good and one is bad.

DORIS: Buying a house doesn’t make you a grown-up. Making the right decision for you is a much more grown-up thing to do. Whether you’re renting or buying, you can still find your perfect home sweet home. Or should I say… home ‘squeak’ home?

JEN: Hey!

DORIS: I’ll give you some time to think about it.

JEN: Stop it! Bad kitty!

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