10 Signs That It’s Time to Stop Renting and Buy a Home
Purchasing a home is an important stage of life that most of us aspire to. But it’s not uncommon for us to live in rental units for a time, especially when we’re still young and just starting our careers.
Apartment life might be sustainable for a little while. But eventually, there comes a time when you realize you’re throwing away money that you could be investing in the equity of a home. There are other challenges with apartment life, too. Even tenants of luxury apartment complexes must deal with day-to-day problems that can bring them to their wit’s end.
If you’re struggling with any of the following, you might be ready to buy a home.
1. Paper-Thin Walls and Floors
No one likes a noisy neighbor, but this problem is made even worse when your neighbor is only a few feet away from you at any given moment. People who live in apartments typically have at least one or two neighbors next to them or above them, and apartment walls are notoriously thin.
If you’re tired of hearing your neighbor singing in the shower, it might be time to consider buying a home.
2. You’ve Stepped on One Too Many Dog Poops
Not every rental property allows pets, but even those with strict pet policies can’t always enforce them. When neighbors don’t clean up after their dogs, it can leave a serious mess in outdoor common areas.
One of the biggest perks of owning property is that you have sole responsibility for your outdoor area. If you keep it clean, you’ll never have to worry about what might be lurking in the grass as you enjoy your time outside.
3. You Can’t Rely on Maintenance Staff
One of the concerns many renters have about buying property is that they’ll be responsible for the maintenance of the home instead of their property manager. While owning a home certainly comes with costs and responsibilities, it also comes with more freedom—such as the freedom to choose your plumber or electrician.
As a renter, you have no control over when repairs will be done or who will do them. As a homeowner, you can choose any contractor in town to make repairs to your home.
4. Your Landlord Wasn’t Forthcoming About Your Neighbors
Landlords and property managers are under no obligation to tell you about your neighbors before you sign a lease. There’s not much you can do before entering a rental agreement to determine if you’ll be living next to neighbors who are responsible, reasonable, or even employed.
Once you sign on the dotted line, you’re mostly out of luck if your neighbors turn out to be nosy, noisy, or irresponsible.
5. Annual Rent Increases Are Stretching Your Budget
Annual rent increases are common. Even if you advance in your career, there’s a good chance more and more of your income will be eaten up by rental costs.
If you apply for a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll never have to worry about your payments increasing. You’ll have the same monthly payments for the duration of the mortgage term, and you can build equity in your home faster if your income increases.
6. Cheap Apartment Insulation Doesn’t Keep the Elements Out
Renters have little say in the materials that make up their apartments and rental houses. You may be able to paint the walls, but there’s not much you can do about the windows and floors. Even if the windows are cheap and the building has poor insulation, you’ll likely be responsible for the heating bill.
7. Poor Outdoor Lighting Makes for an Unsafe Environment
Apartment complexes and rental communities with poor outdoor lighting are unsafe environments, especially if they are in high crime areas. While property managers may have some responsibility for providing outdoor lighting, it depends on the location.
As a property owner, you have complete control of your outdoor spaces. You can install enough lighting to ensure your family is safe.
8. Cheap Appliances Break and Cost You Your Security Deposit
If there’s one thing renters can agree upon, it’s that getting your security deposit back at the end of your lease is an elusive prospect.
Property managers and landlords must “provide habitable premises,” according to mass.gov. But they are under no obligation to provide top-of-the-line appliances and lighting fixtures. If a cheap appliance breaks after it was provided to you by your property manager, you can usually kiss your security deposit goodbye.
As a homeowner, you have complete control of your appliances, lighting fixtures, and more.
9. The Mold Just Won’t Go Away
Mold is a common problem in rental units—even in luxury rental communities. According to the CDC, “Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.”
While mold can certainly invade your home as a homeowner, you have more control over the treatment and removal of the mold than you would as a renter. For example, property managers might simply paint over mold growing on a wall, masking but not eliminating the problem.
10. The Area You Live in Has Too Much Crime
Finally, sometimes rental communities are in higher crime areas compared to neighborhoods where people own their homes. While this isn’t always the case, renters often have less choice in where they end up living—they must go with what’s available, what’s close to their jobs, and what they can afford.
Is It Time to Buy?
If you identify with any of the above and you can’t take it anymore, you might be at the stage of your life when it’s time to buy a home. Contact us at GoldCoast Mortgage to find out how we can help you reach your real estate goals.