Renting vs buying

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When deciding whether to buy or rent you'll be considering a number of factors, but everyone starts with the same thing - affordability.

What you can afford depends on a number of things - income, obviously, but also location. According to property website Zoopla, buyers in Aberdeen will be £99,000 better off compared to renters after 7 years. Whereas for buyers in London, with a 10% deposit put down, it will take 18 years to see the benefits of owning rather than renting.

While renting allows you more expendable money in the short term, the long-term investment of owning a property offers a sense of security.

And while affordability is the most important thing for you to consider, there are plenty of pros and cons to consider for both renting and buying.

We’'ve laid out a few for you to consider:

Buying pros

  • Security - when you buy a house it becomes your legal property, giving you greater freedom and no landlord restrictions
  • Creative freedom - owning your home means you can decorate and alter it how you want
  • Credit rating - if you pay your mortgage on time every month, your credit rating will increase in time
  • Equity - when it comes to selling your house, you could make money on it which will help you put down the deposit on your next home

Buying cons

  • Expenses - home owning can be an expensive business. There'’s the mortgage, insurance, council tax and all your bills on top. As well as any home improvements or essential maintenance
  • Negative equity - there is always the possibility that you won'’t make any profit when it comes to selling your home
  • Tied in - you can’'t give a month’'s notice and move out of a home you own like you can when renting

House renting

Renting pros

  • Flexibility - if you get bored of the property, fancy a change of scenery or need to relocate for a new job you can pretty much do so at the drop of a hat. One month’'s notice is probably your biggest commitment to your landlord
  • Insurance - you only need contents insurance – the landlord is responsible for the building/home insurance
  • No maintenance - the landlord is responsible if the boiler conks out or if something goes wrong with the property, so you won'’t be out of pocket
  • Flatmates - if you can'’t afford somewhere on your own, you can look at house shares. Living with new people can be a great experience

Renting cons

  • Lack of ownership - your rent isn’'t going anywhere other than the landlord’'s pocket. You'’ll have no return investment when you move on
  • Rate change - you have no control over annual rental fluctuations which are directly affected by inflation
  • Landlord restrictions - you are bound by the rules of the lease agreement, and your landlord may not allow you to paint or make décor changes
  • No security - your landlord can give notice for you to move out, and there'’s no guarantee a lease will be renewed when it expires

Lawrence Hall, of Zoopla, said: "It is important to remember that while renters may be better off in the short to medium term in some areas of the country, buyers are making a long-term investment.

"With most buyers opting for mortgage terms of 25 years, over the long term buyers are likely to be better off compared to those who choose to rent."

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