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Rent vs Own

"I'm sick of throwing my money away on rent." I hear this statement often, and it is usually followed up with, when is the best time to buy a house?  I answer this question differently depending on who is asking it, but typically I say something like, "the best time to buy a house is when you are ready for it and have analyzed every aspect of owning a home. Homeownership is a big step to financial freedom. Still, before you jump into anything, it is essential to thoroughly analyze your situation and whether or not it is right for you.  If you haven't owned a house or met with a mortgage banker, you might not know if it is even possible. Looking at Real Estate online can often be misleading.  It can either lead you to believe your dream home is within reach or discourage you from ever thinking you can afford a home you would be proud of.  Homes can be highly affordable or astoundingly expensive. They should be considered an investment, and for many homeowners, it's one of the smartest investments they'll make. Depending on how much you currently pay for rent, how expensive homes are in your area, your credit score, homebuyer assistance programs, interest rates, and how long you plan to live in the house (among other factors), buying a home is often less expensive than renting, especially in the long run. When you rent, you are paying for a roof over your head. When you buy, you become the owner of that roof and everything beneath it. Renting advantages:

  • Renting offers more flexibility. You can pack up and move at a moment's (or a month's) notice.  Depending on the terms of your lease, you're not usually tied to a residence for more than a year or two at most. On the other hand, when you own a home, you need to sell the property or find a suitable tenant before you can move—or...
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