At present, the property market is in a bit of disarray. With the recent widespread fluctuation of property costs in the market people are more cautious than ever about buying a property. Furthermore with increased costs of renting as a result, people are opting more often for flat shares and HMOs in order to keep costs down.
At this stage though, are you actually better to rent or buy your property?
Let’s take look at some of the pros and cons for each scenario which might help you to decide.
Rent Vs. Mortgage
Depending on your arrangement, your mortgage could be more or less the price of renting and it will be entirely down to the arrangement you have with your lender. Of course the obvious argument here is that paying a mortgage means you will eventually own the property. So in the long run your better to have a mortgage overall.
Attached Vs. Unattached
This will be entirely dependent on your situation. If you are a couple for instance looking to start a family then it is likely that your next property will be intended for at least a reasonable length of time. Compare this to a student who might be entirely changing their living arrangements in the next year and you can see why this varies so widely.
A rental agreement can be broken after as little as 6 months in some cases while a mortgage will take years or even decades to be paid off. As a result, if you’re taking on a mortgage you’ll have to be in it for the long run.
Call the Plumber Vs. Call the Landlord
One aspect that is very important to consider is your financial responsibility for the maintenance of the property. If the boiler stops working for instance then as the owner of a property (via the mortgage route) you are entirely responsible for the costs required to get it fixed. It is your home after all so you’ll have to deal with any maintenance costs that occur.
In the case of renting the property on the other hand, the landlord is responsible for providing an adequate living condition for continued rental of the property. So unless you are clearly responsible for the damage or fault in question then the landlord will have to make it a priority to get fixed as soon as possible, at no expense to you.
DIY Vs. DIY Not?
One downside of renting is that you’ll rarely be able to make any larger changes to the property such as painting or general redecorating up to making a dramatic home improvement. You can ask the landlords permission, but generally you will be unlikely to be able to change anything, leaving you stuck with their horrible décor.
If you own the house yourself then you will be able to make the majority of changes without making any prior arrangements. Of course for larger changes such as removing a wall for instance, you will have to first pursue planning permission.
Gerry Cartwright is a property letting expert. He used to specialise in pricing flats to rent in Leeds.