Moving From An Apartment To A Home? Should You Rent Or Buy?

Posted on: 15 September 2017

If you've just about had it with apartment living, you may be browsing home listings in your area in search of a single-family home that can provide you with the space, privacy, and lack of shared walls you need. However, jumping straight from a rental arrangement into a home purchase can mean more than just moving, and you may wonder whether easing your way into a home through renting may be a better option. Read on for some of the factors you'll want to consider when deciding whether to rent or purchase your next home.

Are you planning to stay in the area?

In general, it's not a good idea to buy a home when you're planning to leave the area within a few years (unless you plan to turn the home into a rental anyway). Even if you're able to purchase a home at a steal of a price, paying real estate fees, title insurance, closing costs, and other sale-related expenses just a year or two after you bought the home can often leave you in the hole. On the other hand, a rental can provide you with the flexibility you need to pack up and change cities, states, or even countries.

How's your credit? 

Although lending standards have re-loosened since the housing crash (and subsequent recession), obtaining a low-interest mortgage with a low credit score is still a challenge. Some home buyers may qualify for FHA or USDA financing, permitting lower-than-average credit scores and minimal down payments, but in other cases, you may want to take steps to improve your credit before you seek a mortgage.

Those who have good or excellent credit scores should have no trouble getting a mortgage, and today's interest rates are still far lower than they've been for previous generations of first-time home buyers 

Will your family composition change soon?

If the number of people (and pets) living in your future home is likely to be different from the number now living in your apartment, you'll want to take these potential changes in mind. Because selling a home that no longer fits your lifestyle is often far more of a hassle than exiting a lease, purchasing a tiny home when you're planning to have several kids in the near future (or purchasing an enormous home just a year or two before your teenagers fly the nest for good) may not make sense. By looking at what you'll likely need from your home for the next decade or longer, you'll be better-equipped to find a house that fits your lifestyle and your budget.