Roberta Oswald
Roberta Oswald, Valley Property Sales & Management
Email: [email protected]

Thinking About Renting Versus Buying

by Roberta Oswald 07/21/2019

Dollar for dollar, you might determine that in this year, at this time, buying might be more to your advantage than renting. Alternatively, the numbers may show the opposite: that renting will save you money this year over buying. Given the conventional wisdom that buying is better on the one hand with your bottom line on the other, how do you decide?

The tangibles or the intangibles

Take the example of two identical homes in the same neighborhood. One is for rent, and the other is for sale. Do you choose to rent or to buy?

If tangibly (things you can accurately calculate) the dollars show that renting is less financial outgo (bottom line) than buying, you may choose to rent. However, buying might offset these tangibles with intangibles such as pride of ownership, the ability to make changes and upgrades, or the stability that comes with a fixed mortgage payment.

On the other hand, it might be that dollar for dollar, it would be less expensive for you to buy the home. In that case, is buying always the right decision? That depends. If you are new to an area, you may not be sure that this is the neighborhood for you. Renting for six months or a year gives you an out should you decide that you do not like it there. Perhaps the school does not have the right programs for your child, or you find the commute is too long to your place of work. Until you experience them, you may not be able to determine how these intangibles might affect you. 

Another intangible is flexibility. If you are nearing starting a family, or conversely of becoming empty-nesters, locking down a home via purchase might not be the best choice, because you will have more options in just a year or two. Moreover, if you need to move, repeatedly buying and selling homes produces extra costs in addition to the down payment that you would not have as a renter that needs to move. These include broker and agent fees and closing costs.

Of course, as a renter, you always should prepare for the possibility of your rent increasing with each rental contract or lease. Also, your property owner could decide not to renew your lease for any number of reasons, so you may need to calculate the cost of moving every year or two as well.

Before taking the leap into home ownership or determining to stay in the rental market, talk with a financial professional to determine which scenario best meets your current and future needs.

About the Author
Author

Roberta Oswald

 

A passionate polo player, aviatrix and fourth generation member of one of the oldest winery families in the Napa Valley, Roberta has lived in the Bay Area her entire life. She attended San Jose State University and graduated with a degree in Aeronautics and a Business minor before entering into the professional world. Dedicated to her community as well as her vocation, Roberta is the past President and member of the local Soroptimist International organization. She is also an active member of a number of local Chambers of Commerce. Because of her longtime residency and her civic involvement, Roberta has an acute awareness of the needs and wants of families in the area. She knows the schools and neighborhoods, as well as the services and benefits available. Roberta is a valuable information resource for those new to the area as well as those who are simply changing neighborhoods or looking for investment properties. Roberta has over eighteen years of experience in buying and selling real estate in the residential, investment and commercial markets. She started and operated two specialty businesses on the Peninsula prior to joining Up Valley Real Estate in 2003. Not content to just “get the job done”, she wants to exceed your expectations. Roberta believes in service with commitment. Utilizing the kind of knowledge that is obtained only through extensive life experience and an in-depth understanding of the area and local market, she works with you to provide the maximum results. During her accomplished career, Roberta has refined important skills in communication, negotiation, attention to detail and sound business practices, all of which are vital to the success of her real estate clients today.