Renting vs Buying: The Benefits to Owning a Home
In a city like San Diego, there are lots of options to choose from when it comes to your home. For those who are ready to set down roots, buying a home might be the right choice, but there are several factors to consider. For example, being a homeowner means you will have more responsibilities including all of the repairs, bills, and upkeep. On the other hand, these reasons can also give you freedom because you're able to put the time and effort into maintaining your home your way with your own taste and preferences.
Everyone's situation is unique, and you'll likely have some external considerations to keep in mind, but it helps to understand what you'd be getting yourself into if you were to buy a home. Here are some of the benefits you'd get with owning your home rather than renting.
Your home will match your own style
With renting, you are subject to living in a space with a predetermined color palette, fixtures, appliances, window treatments, and more. You can only add so much of your own taste into a rental. For example, you can add pictures to the walls, curtains, and lamps, but you can't modify the underlying elements of the place. If you're lucky, the space will match your preferences. At best, it will be neutral. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't match your style at all, but it's part of what you have to live with as a renter who doesn't have full control (unless you have an agreeable landlord who wants to make updates).
One major benefit to buying is that you can decorate your home to your heart's desire. If you want to add in a built-in desk in the kitchen, you easily can. If you'd like to add exposed beams to your ceiling or put in custom lighting, you can do that too. It's completely within your control as a homeowner. Most of the time, the updates and customization made to a home increase the value so it's money well-spent. You can even spend time building a garden or expanding a patio space knowing that you'll be there long enough to enjoy watching the plants grow.
There is a strong sense of community
When you are renting, there is a sense of impermanence because a lease is only for a set amount of time, usually a year. With the frequent change in neighbors as people's leases end and they move away, it can be challenging to build a community. If you are renting a house in a neighborhood with primarily homeowners, as a renter, it can be hard for you to fully integrate into the community. Unfortunately, in some situations there is even a hint of animosity between homeowners and renters living next to each other.
When you buy a home, you are automatically part of the community and you will have roots there. Your neighbors know that you plan to stay there awhile, and you can interact with and support your community as you see fit. You can attend the city council meetings, volunteer at local centers, and grab a coffee with your neighbors. It's a completely different living experience as a homeowner than a renter because you have a vested interest in the health, growth, and sustainability of the surrounding community.
Your home is as clean as you want it to be
With each new rental you move into, there is a mystery about the previous condition of the home. You have no idea about the past tenants, their habits, and how they treated the space. You can only take it for face value — the carpet might look okay, but is there a smell that's being covered up that will start to re-emerge after some time? The sink and toilets might work today, but is the plumbing subpar?
Moving into a new rental, you might wonder if one of the last residents had a pet. If so, will there be evidence of that leftover in the house? Did any of the residents smoke? How many people lived there before you? You won't know the history of your place as a renter and sometimes you don't realize there are issues with it until you've already signed the lease.
If you own your home, you have the control to make the home as clean as you'd like it to be — there is no mystery about its condition. You can put in new floors that only you and your guests have walked on. You don't even have to wonder things like if the last tenant brought in bedbugs to the space because it's only you and your family living there. If you spend time deep cleaning the kitchen or the bathroom, you're only cleaning up your own mess, not that left over from the last person who lived there. It's yours to maintain as you wish.
Repairs are on your own time
If something breaks in a rental, you have to call the landlord to make the repairs. If you have a good landlord who is timely and wants the job done right, they'll send someone out quickly. A lot of times though, landlords want a cheap fix that will save them money now without thinking of the long term. What this means for you as a renter is that you might run into the same problem twice or more. Sometimes, landlords even ignore your request or disagree with you about the issue. The only nice thing about repairs while renting is that you don't have to pay for them out of pocket.
The benefits of making repairs when you're a homeowner is that you know the job will be done right and it will be efficient. There is no waiting period for something to get fixed; you can call right away without having to get a landlord's approval. You will also have the freedom to make long term decisions. For example, if your washing machine is broken, you can decide if it's in your best interest to make a small repair now or replace it completely. You have the power in your hands to do what's best for your household with each and every repair.
Owning a home is an investment
Arguably the worst part about renting is actually paying the rent. It can feel as if you're throwing money away each month because it goes into the pocket of someone else instead of going towards something you own. If you are renting a two-bedroom apartment in San Diego, you're likely paying around $2,500. If you add it up for the yearly cost, you're paying $30,000 annually, and that's not insignificant.
As a homeowner, what you pay each month towards the mortgage is not being thrown away; it's going towards paying down your loan. Sure there is interest, but you're still paying for something that is yours instead of helping a landlord pay down their own mortgage with your rent.
Buying a home is an investment and you'll have peace of mind knowing that your money each month is contributing to the house. You also won't have to worry about signing a new lease each year and wondering if the rent will go up. Owning a home gives people security, roots, and the freedom to do as they please with their space.
If you're wondering what buying options you have in San Diego, don't hesitate to reach out to San Diego Realtor Nick Rogers today!