Post # 1
I’ve found a few houses for sale that we can afford however I don’t think it is the right time for us to buy- we don’t know how long we will be in the area.
I want to start looking for places to rent but I’ve realized I don’t know where to start.
So any good online places to look at rental properties? And what are the downsides of renting vs buying.
Post # 3
Right now, with interest rates SO low, it’s a great time to buy. BUT, if you’re not planning to stay very long, it’s not worth buying.
Where I live, we say that it takes two years to recoup Realtor fees meaning at 2 years, you should break even.
Post # 4
If you want to rent a house, i’m not sure whether Craigslist has a good selection. I know they have great apartment rental selection. The newspaper is another source. A real estate agent can also show you houses/apartments for rent, but know that they will usually require a fee equal to a month’s rent. Sometimes the owner pays that, but usually the renter does.
Upside to renting: You don’t have to worry about the market and whether your home value is decreasing/you are going underwater. Don’t have to pay for maintenance – landlord is responsible for all that. You usually don’t have to pay for water or gas. You have the flexibility to move often without selling the place. Upfront costs are generally lower (no down payment, no loan required. In a lot of places, renting is substantially cheaper than owning (don’t forget that you have to pay for insurance and tax on top of a mortgage). In really big cities, it tends to take 10-20 years of owning before it becomes cheaper than buying.
Pros of buying: Equity. All the money isn’t going to the owner (though, the equity is honestly a small part of the money you are paying. At today’s average 30-yr interest rate you will end up paying roughly the home’s value in interest to the bank. When you add in insurange, maintenance, etc it cuts into yous savings even more). You get to do whatever you want with regards to decorating. That’s basically all I can think of as a “Pro”. You’re very locked in to a home when you buy it.
Post # 5
@SFreeman2187: But don’t forget about closing costs. It isn’t just realtor fees that cost a lot in the initial phase of home buying. That’s a lot to recoup if you will be leaving soon!