To Own or To Rent? That Is the Question

Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying to figure out your next move? Should I sign one more lease and stay in my apartment or should I start looking for a house? Do I have enough money saved up? Is now the right time? Home prices are becoming competitive, but so are rentals. In the long run, owning your own home can give you a very worthwhile and satisfying sense of accomplishment and security. These are some of the cold, hard facts as to why you may want to pursue homeownership instead of renting.

A Costly Decision

While Atlanta still remains more affordable than many other large metros in the country, apartment living can be just as much, if not more, than owning a home. The vast, towering high rises of midtown and the variety of garden-style living quarters of Sandy Springs may be attractive and convenient, but they do come with a hefty price tag. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, average rent prices in Atlanta alone have increased by 7%. reported in July 2021 that median rents in the 50 largest metros had increased 9.8% year-over-year. Looking ahead, the average renter could potentially spend even more of their monthly income, 30.2%, on their rental expenses by the end of 2021.

Now or Never

You probably always hear “now is a good time to buy” or “strike while the market is hot”. Well, it’s true. Making the right move, literally or figuratively, can make all the difference for your future finances. While spring is known to be a hot housing period, early fall is also prime time to buy since inventory is expected to rise, prices are predicted to cool down and rates should remain stable. It was recently reported that the first week of October is the best time to buy during the fall season due to more balanced market conditions. Plus, market rate rents change by the month, week or even by the day. What would seem like a reasonable rate for an apartment now will more than likely not be ideal next week or even tomorrow.

Money Matters

As previously mentioned, you stand to spend more of your monthly income on rent than you would on owning a property. There is something that is referred to as the 30% rule: the idea of managing your monthly housing expenses so that you do not spend more than 30% of your income. By the end of 2021, homeowners look to spend 23% of their income. Earlier this year, each of the first six months had home appreciation increases year-over-year, meaning that your home will fetch more value. And while some may think that paying a mortgage every month is just paying the bank, with low interest rates you stand to increase your own net worth, so you can sit back and watch your equity rise.

These are just some of the reasons why it’s better to own than rent. Owning a home is not only good for your finances, but it is an accomplishment that many Americans are in pursuit of. If you’re ready to make that first step in the world of homeownership, contact a Harry Norman REALTOR® today to see what’s out there for you!

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