When relocating, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is if you are going to rent or buy. The answer is not always so straightforward. If you’re just passing through, renting may be a better option.
When Renting a Home Makes More Sense:
You Plan on Relocating
While it’s true many people stick around for the long term, many are just passing through Charleston. If you know you’re not going to be around for the long-term, renting is an easier option with less commitment.
Your Income Is Unpredictable
Self-employed professionals, new graduates, start-up employees, and contractors don’t always know what their income will be in the long-term. While contractors can expect a predictable paycheck while on contract, once the term ends you’ll be stuck with a mortgage payment no matter what. If cash flow is an issue, owning a home will make it harder for you to downsize when times get hard.
Retirement is Close
Even if you have a pretty hefty retirement fund, a high cost of living can wipe that out quick. If you can buy for cash and still have plenty to live on, then owning may be for you. Otherwise, renting is a better option. The fixed costs will make it easy to budget. Renting also provides you with the flexibility to downsize or move into your RV and travel.
Mortgage Rates Are High
The past few years have seen some of the lowest rates for a long time, but lately rates have begun to rise slightly. Because of the high sticker price of many homes, try to buy when rates are at a low and rent in the meantime.
There’s no one perfect answer for the rent vs. buy question. It all depends on your situation. Take your time to explore your goals and your financial picture before making the decision.