Many of us dream of buying our own home. I’d love to have my own place one day instead of renting. However, there are times when renting makes sense, or when buying simply isn’t a wise idea. Here are some circumstances when you should put off buying a home …
1. Long-Term Plans
Buying a house should be something that is done with the long-term in mind. There’s really no point going to the expense of purchasing a home (think of all the extra costs involved) if you don’t plan to stay in the area and in the home for at least several years. If you don’t know what your long-term plans are, then renting is a better option.
It’s often said that rent money is dead money, but being a tenant allows you a good deal more flexibility. What if the opportunity comes up to travel, or you get offered a job in another city – or country?
Buying a home is the single greatest financial commitment you are ever going to make. So it is vital to be sure that you are in a position to make that commitment, and that you have found a home that you can live in happily and that suits your needs. You can’t just change your mind after you’ve bought it!
Mortgage lenders are much more cautious these days after the mistakes of the past. So it is vital to have the largest deposit that you can afford, in order to secure the best deal. It also provides a cushion if house values fall. Waiting to buy allows you to save for that deposit.
When buying with someone else, it is even more essential not to be impulsive, and to make wise decisions. You should ask yourself if the relationship is solid enough, whether you can really see a future with your partner, and be sure to protect your investment, say if you put more money towards the deposit.
Another factor to consider is that you may be able to afford a mortgage now, but what if your circumstances change? Would you be able to keep up with the payments if you became pregnant, or if one of you lost your job? What if interest rates shot up?
One mistake a lot of expats make is to rush into buying their ‘dream home’. I would advise renting for at least a couple of years before buying if you move to a new country. This gives you a chance to research the market, get to know the system, and decide if you really like the area and the way of life.
Let’s say that all you can afford is a one-bed apartment. That’s fine if you plan to remain single or childless, but what if you would like to start a family? Having a child in a small apartment can be done, but isn’t ideal. So maybe it would be better to wait until you can afford an extra bedroom, to allow for expansion.
What do you think of renting v buying - have you bought and regretted it, or was it the best investment you ever made?
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