Home: Where the Love Is

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Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but Cupid’s aim was true. You found your heart-mate and set a wedding date. Among the many decisions you have to make: where will the two of you live?

Unless you’ve already settled on moving in with Mom and Dad, it comes down to rent or buy. As usual with financial choices, each option has good and bad points.

Here’s an overview of common pros and cons.

Rent
 
Buy
  Convenience  
  • Can move in and out fairly quickly
 
  • Selling and closing process can take weeks
  • May already be furnished
 
  • Will need to buy or rent furniture
  • Rent may include recreational facilities
 
  • Recreational facilities generally cost extra
 
Control
 
  • Possible restrictions on personal choices, such as pets and
    recreational vehicles
 
  • Homeowner’s associations may impose restrictions on personal
    choices
  • Limited decorating possibilities
 
  • Can decorate as you choose
  • Rent can rise at landlord’s discretion
 
  • Mortgage payments can be fixed; taxes and insurance will increase
    over time
 
Savings
 
  • Maintenance handled by landlord
 
  • Maintenance costs paid by owner
  • No need for a down payment
 
  • Cash needed for closing costs and down payment
  • No possibility for ownership or equity
 
  • Part of mortgage payment goes toward ownership
  • No income tax deductions for interest and taxes
 
  • Potential for tax deductions

Your decision will be affected by other factors as well, such as how long you intend to stay in a particular area and whether you’re ready to settle down. Additional non-cash considerations may also play a role. You might even opt to run a discounted financial analysis that compares the costs of renting and buying over a twenty-year time-frame.

However you do your homework, remember this: what matters most when choosing a place to live is the love and joy within.

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