Making the Choice Between Buying and Renting

Many Americans question whether a monthly mortgage payment outweighs the benefits of renting

Making the Choice Between Buying and Renting
April 4, 2016

Today, more Americans are renting than are buying. This holds true across all generations and income levels, although the reasons for why families are renting instead of buying differ. Many do still want to own a home at some point, but because of the ratio of home prices to income levels and the ease that comes with renting, more and more are putting off this large purchase. In fact, 37 percent of households are now renters, which is the largest percentage of renters the market has seen since the 1960s.

A study conducted at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University shows that more people may continue to rent for longer periods of time. In the past, many people purchased a home because they were told renting put them at a disadvantage. Today, renters are wondering if this is actually true.

Financial planner, Milo M. Benningfield, believes the argument of buying versus renting is a futile one. He does agree that homeownership provides a buyer with equity and stability – a mortgage makes buyers prepare and stick to a financial plan, plus there’s no fear of landlords increasing rent or selling the property. However, buyers do go into major debt and can face defaulting on their mortgage if they lose their job.

But do these risks and benefits outweigh those of renting? Benningfield and others agree that the answer isn’t readily apparent.

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  Conversation   |   9 Comments

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brittany.martinez530 | 04.04.16 @ 16:40
I have always been a renter but am currently in the middle of buying my first home and honestly... I CANNOT WAIT!
Stokes | 04.04.16 @ 16:42
They both have strong benefits and drawbacks. It's nice owning your own home...until you have to replace the roof.
trish | 04.04.16 @ 16:42
I don't think it's as cut and dry as it used to be. Now that we have faced such housing loan issues, some are unable to take the risk until they have enough saved. Renting for them seems the best of two evils
Erin | 04.04.16 @ 16:43
I think it's a toss up and really depends on your lifestyle. There are many times I have thought about renting again and being able to move when I want, but I don't really want to go back to depending on others for upkeep and other things.
Kaila | 04.04.16 @ 16:43
This article seemed a little redundant, basically it just says that both have benefits and pitfalls, but no one has come to the conclusion of which is better....
Kailie | 04.04.16 @ 16:44
So basically there's really not much of a difference either way.
Steffanie | 04.04.16 @ 16:45
We stopped renting years ago when we realized how much we saved. A bonus to buying, you get to make all the decisions without someone telling what you can or can't do.
Elaine | 04.04.16 @ 16:46
Renting to me just seems like tossing money away with no benifits. I always think buying is the best option if possible.
Beverly | 04.04.16 @ 16:46
Home ownership isn't for everyone. You definitely need to decide which is best for your situation and be happy with your choice, but don't make yourself broke doing it.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.04.16 @ 16:25
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