Although there are many reasons why people can tell you to buy a home, the decision to buy or rent a home depends on your personal situation; that you are, where you are, your career, your financial goals and how you want to spend your time. There is a prevailing thought that everybody should buy their own home. But research shows there are times and circumstances when renting might be a better idea.
Do you have the time?
There is no such thing as a sure thing in any investment. Usually what makes real estate a better risk than some investments is time. The longer you commit to a property, the better your chances of seeing its value appreciate.
If it is likely in any way that you will move, change jobs or stay in the house for a short period of time, less than 10 years, buying may not be a good idea. Letting go of a property before it has appreciated enough to cover the costs and commissions is not fun and if you bought with less than a 10% down payment, it could be costly. Fees and closing costs can wipe out appreciation gains, if there were any. If the purchase was made with an even smaller down payment, chances are you'll come out at a substantial loss.
Will you like the neighborhood?
If you are new to West Columbia, research suggests you take ample time to get to know the area before investing money in a house and its neighborhood. If you are relocating to a place you hardly know, spend a year in an apartment in West Columbia until you're certain where and how you want to live and that you are going to stay at your job.
Will you be happy giving up the freedom?
Initially renting is less financial pressure than buying. Paying a first and last deposit doesn't compare to the big chunk of change required for a down payment on a house. If you do have enough savings for the down payment, you could invest it elsewhere and hope for significant capital gains. Imagine if you'd invested a typical down payment amount in the stock market ten years ago.
Renting gives you the freedom of time as well, with no yard or home maintenance projects. Natural and other disasters make renting a lower risk.
Even though rents tend to increase by 3% per year, unexpected maintenance costs or sudden property tax hikes will not affect you as a renter.