This is a big decision, based on so many factors. Most individuals and families make this decision simply based on what they can afford right now—without considering some longer-term aspects.

Usually the biggest factor in determining whether to rent or buy is the upfront cost: the down payment required to purchase a home, which is usually 20%. This often turns a lot of potential buyers away.

However, you can purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment. You might qualify for certain loan programs that do not require large down payments.

Additionally, you may qualify for a loan without the 20% down payment, as long as you pay for private mortgage insurance. (PMI).

In general, if you plan on staying in the home for a longer period of time, it’s a good idea to buy, The upfront costs may be higher, but you build equity.



  • -Builds equity and strengthens credit
  • -No landlord
  • -More stability, joining a community
  • -Possible tax benefits
  • -Can make improvements or upgrades to the property


  • -Requires substantial money (the down payment) up front
  • -Could lose money if the home’s value declines
  • -More stability, joining a community
  • -Extra expenses beyond mortgage payments, including mortgage insurance, taxes, and HOA fees
  • -Responsible for all repairs and remodeling



  • -Fewer upfront costs and paperwork
  • -More freedom and mobility
  • -Not responsible for maintenance, repairs
  • -No need to worry about falling home values
  • -No property taxes


  • -Landlord can raise rent or sell the property
  • -Choices may be limited depending on vacancies
  • -Might have to move multiple times
  • -Does not build equity or provide tax benefits
  • -Cannot make structural changes to the property

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