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Maybe upgrading your living arrangement is your next big move. Are you interested in buying your first place or do you want to spend some time as a renter? Not sure? Here are some things to consider while making this big decision.
Renting allows you more flexibility to move, permitting you to follow better housing or job opportunities that may arise. If you rent, someone else will take care of your maintenance and upkeep expenses and you might not have to worry about mowing your own lawn. In addition, you may also be able to save or invest more money than you would if you were paying to maintain your own place. However, you’ll probably have to pay first and last month’s rent up-front and it’s also a good idea to invest in renter’s insurance so you’re covered in case there’s a theft or emergency.
Being a home owner allows you the freedom to decorate, maintain and change things as you desire. You’ll also be able to take advantage of some tax breaks by using your mortgage interest and property taxes as deductions. While home ownership is a wonderful thing, it’s important to remember that you’ll be responsible for property taxes, lawn care and maintenance, and you could potentially lose money if you should have to move quickly in a bad economy. Also, when considering purchasing a home keep in mind you’ll probably need a sizable down-payment to get a home loan, plus you’ll have to pay closing costs and realtor fees on top of everything else.
To get a better idea about which option is best for you, check out SmartMoney.com's Rent or Buy Worksheet. It will walk you through all the important pieces of the puzzle to help you make the best decision.