The Pros & Cons of Renting Versus Buying a Home

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 6:41am. 37,713 Views

Is it better to rent or buy a home? This is a question that everyone has to process through at some point in time. It’s not always best to buy and it’s certainly not always best to rent. A person’s lifestyle, financial situation, relational situation, and employment are all factors that can sway the answer to one side to the other.

Here’s a simple infographic to help breakdown some of the pros & cons to the question:

Should You Rent or Buy a Home?

The Pros & Cons of Renting Versus Buying a Home

After viewing the pros and cons above, let’s look at how they apply to different areas of a persons life.


Easy To Move On When RentingEasy To Move On

Renting Allows You Freedom To Easily Move OnWhen you rent a home, you are free to move on as soon as your lease is expired. There’s no house to sell. This is one of the most common reasons for renting a home, rather than buying. If you are unsure of how long you will be living in an area, renting is usually your best option. Selling a home is a lot of work and expense, so it makes sense to buy a home when you are sure that you want to stay in the home for a few years. This allows you to build up equity and make money when you sell, which you cannot do when you rent.

No Property Tax When RentingNo Property Taxes

For many homeowners, property taxes are the 2nd highest cost of owning a home, next to their mortgage payment. Home owners insurance is a close 3rd for expenses, which is another fee that you do not have to pay when you rent a home…. or do you? I have heard the argument that the cost of property insurance and home owners taxes are enough to make people rent, rather than buy. But think about this, the landlord of the property that you rent is also paying property taxes and insurance. So, who is really paying the property tax and insurance? It just makes sense that the cost of the tax and insurance are being passed on to the tenant. This means that tenants are inadvertently paying the taxes and insurance for their landlord, just not directly. There are also tax advantages to owning a home as well.

No MaintenanceNo Maintenance

Every home needs maintenance and repairs over time. When you rent a home, the repairs are passed on to the landlord or property management company. This is a very popular reason to rent. Of course, there are down sides to this as well. Some landlords and property management companies are not very prompt or easy to work with. Just do a quick Google search for reviews on property management companies in your area. You may find a long list of tenants who have complained that it took days or weeks to fix issues in their rental properties that should have been fixed immediately, as well as smaller issues that never got fixed at all. However, if you have a good landlord, your maintenance worries are minimal.


You Can Make It Your When You Buy A HomeYou Can Make It Yours

Buying a Home Allows You Freedom To Make It YoursWhen you buy a home, you are free to paint, change fixtures, tear down walls, or put up new walls. It’s your home and you can do whatever you want with it. When you rent a home, you are not allowed to change paint colors, fixtures, or remodel. Having the freedom to do what you want with your home is one of the greatest benefits of homeownership. My wife and I have rented a home after moving to a new area and it was very hard for us to leave the house alone. Many people are like us and want to own a home for the freedom to make it the way we want it. A home is a place that captures many of our memories, which is why we want it to reflect us and our design choices.

No Payment Hikes When You RentNo Payment Hikes

When you agree to the terms of your mortgage, chances are very high that you will have a fixed rate. This means that your mortgage payment will not increase over the life of the loan. The security of knowing your payment amount will never change is very comforting. It’s common for rental properties to have payment increases every time that the lease is resigned. Especially in areas like Denver & Seattle where rents have increased dramatically over the past few years.

Build Equity When You Buy A HomeBuild Equity

When you buy a home, a portion of your payment goes straight to paying off your mortgage. Every time you make a payment, you earn equity in your home. As the price of your house appreciates, your mortgage goes down and your equity steadily rises. If you buy a home in an area that appreciates well and you pay down your mortgage over 5+ years, you will have a nice chuck of equity to use however you like. You can use your equity to move into a larger home, refinance and take out some cash, or leave it alone and let it grow!


Increasing Rental PricesIncreasing Rents

Rent Prices Continue to IncreaseRents nationwide seem to be rising fast right now. In Colorado Springs, rents have been steadily rising for years. This makes it hard to plan your future finances when you don’t know what your rent payments are going to be after your lease expires. Once a lease is expired, a landlord can raise the rent as high as they want. If you disagree to the new terms, you’ll need to find a new place to live, which is also an expense and very exhausting. The unknown future of rents can make tenants feel insecure and unsettled.

Lease DeadlinesLease Deadline

When you sign a lease, it will most likely have a deadline. Many leases are structured for a year. Once the lease is up, there is no certainty that you will be able to renew. Sometimes landlords will sell the rental property after a lease is expired, or have family and/or friends move in. The future is always uncertain when you rent a home, which makes long term life plans more difficult and uncertain.

No Equity When Renting a HomeNo Equity

Every rent payment made goes straight to the land lord. You do not have any ownership or equity in the property. This is the hardest part of renting for most people. Knowing that every dollar of your rent is gone for good is discouraging and causes tenants to look into owning their own home. Rent always costs much more in the long run. Imagine renting for 10 years, as opposed to paying down a mortgage over 10 years. The person who pays down their mortgage is going to have a nice chuck of equity when they sell, as opposed to the person who rents and has no equity after 10 years.


Need Money for Down PaymentNeed Money For Down Payment

When you buy a home, it’s common for the mortgage company to require you to put a certain amount of money into the deal as a down payment. This is usually between 3% to 5% of the cost of the home. There are down payment assistant programs and other mortgage options for certain people, so this is not always a con to owning a home. There are misconceptions that home buyers need as much as 20% down, but this is usually not the case. The best way to find out is to talk to a mortgage lender and know your options.

The Cost of Selling A HouseThe Cost of Selling

Selling a home can be costly. Realtor fees can run from 4% to 6% of the sales price of your home. If your home needs some work before selling, you’ll also have to come up with the money to make those necessary updates or repairs. Selling a home is much more stress than buying a home. It usually requires months of planning and preparation to really do it right and make the most amount of money when you sell your home.

Home Owner ResponsibilitiesHomeowner Responsibilities

When you own a home, it is your responsibility to maintain the property. You’ll need to work on the landscaping, have the heater & air conditioner serviced, and repair any damages to the property. Your home owners insurance will typically help you with many of the most costly issues, like roof repairs and major damages. The rest is up to you. I personally prefer this because I can fix problems, like a broken garbage disposal or ceiling fan, and replace old items with new high-end items to make my house run smoother. My dishwasher and garbage disposal are virtually silent since I replaced them recently; and I prefer to do these things myself.


Both renting and buying have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to the stability of your living situation. If you have a career that is moving forward and you feel like you are going to be in your current city for a while, buying a home makes much more sense. If your life is up in the air and you don’t know what next year is going to be like, renting a home makes a lot more sense. Buying a home costs less in the long run and builds your financial situation. Renting a home is expensive and always leaves you without any true ownership or equity.

Taking the time to truly look at all the aspects of each option can help you plan your life to move in the direction that benefits you the most. If you plan on buying a home, there is a ton of information online to help you. Start with this article that explains how to buy your first house. It will give you a quick overview of the home buying process and help you identify where to start. Good luck and happy house hunting!

Renting Versus Buying a Home

Andrew FortuneHi! I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.


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16 Responses to "The Pros & Cons of Renting Versus Buying a Home"

George Stanley wrote: Renting can be can be a good option when you build and sell. You rent while you are building your next house.

Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2015 at 3:51am.

Hannah wrote: I really like the infographics you have here. Deciding what to do can be really challenging, but weighing the pros and cons in this way is very helpful.

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 10:43am.

Anita Mas wrote: Being able to move easily when we need to is a big benefit of renting a place. We aren't planning on living in this town for more than two years. It just makes sense to rent a place. Plus, we don't have to deal with property taxes or anything like that. It all depends on what your circumstances are and what you want out of your home.

Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 at 8:02am.

Justin Knox wrote: Thank you for the help. My wife and I are hoping to move into a house soon, but have not decided if we will rent or buy. I like the fact that we wouldn't be paying property tax if we rented. I think that would fit our stage of life better. It sounds like reduced stress.

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 at 6:45am.

Pancho Cham wrote: I was looking at whether I should rent or buy a house. After reading the article, I feel that for me, I would rather rent instead of buying. That way I can move around without worrying. I'll also be able to not worry about maintenance because the landlord will take care of it.

Posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2016 at 11:41am.

Lillian Schaeffer wrote: This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that renting instead of buying a home makes it easy to move on. My husband and I want to move into a house, but we also aren't planning on being in this area for much longer. We'll definitely look into the possibility of renting a house instead of buying one so we can move on more easily in a few years. Thanks for the great post!

Posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2016 at 9:48am.

Luke Yancey wrote: Thank you for contrasting the pros and cons of renting a home versus owning it. I think the main message I took from all of your comparisons is that it is better to rent a home when you do not plan to live in a given area for a long amount of time. Likewise, if you plan on staying somewhere and have a steady flow of income buying is a better choice!

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 at 8:42am.

Rockford Johnson wrote: This article has helped me to understand the benefits of renting a home. I really like how you explained that "Every home needs maintenance and repairs over time. When you rent a home, the repairs are passed on to the landlord or property management company." I can imagine how helpful renting can be when it comes to maintaining your home and taking care of household repairs.

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 at 1:42pm.

justin wrote: These infographics are very helpful! Great points made on this too.

Posted on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 at 12:05pm.

Raisa Delima wrote: I agree that it would be easy to move on from a rental home because you aren't as attached if you don't own it. I get really attached to things, so I could see that just renting the house would help me to be able to leave it behind somewhere down the road. You would also be much more free financially.

Posted on Thursday, August 31st, 2017 at 2:04pm.

Hannah Schroeder wrote: I'm glad you said that the cost of homeowners' taxes is enough to make people want to rent instead of buy. My husband and I need more space than our apartment can give us now that I'm 18 weeks pregnant, but we can't afford to buy a house yet. It's good to know that if we find a home rental, we won't have to worry about spending money on property taxes.

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 at 8:37pm.

Raeger Wynchester wrote: It was great how you said that I can do whatever I want to the home I buy because it's mine. I won't have to call someone and ask for permission if I want to redecorate, repaint, or replace. Aside from that, I've been renting for quite some time now, so I think it's about time that I buy a place that I can call mine. Thanks for sharing this. I'll call a real estate agent as soon as I can.

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 at 10:38pm.

shruti wrote: i was unaware that renting has so many benefits over buying a home. thank you for the information.

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2018 at 1:41am.

Megan Alder wrote: My husband and I have been renting ever since we've been married. He just got a new job out of state and we are debating on whether or not it's time we find a house to buy or we if we continue looking for properties for rent. I agree that one of the huge benefits of renting is that it is easy to move around, but it would be nice to put our money towards something that is actually our. We have a lot to think about.

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 at 12:41pm.

Caden Dahl wrote: Thanks for bringing to my attention that you don't have to worry about maintenance when you rent a house. My wife and I want to move into a real house, especially because our family is growing! However, we don't have much experience with maintaining a property like that, so maybe we should rent instead of buying.

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018 at 9:06am.

Ellen H. wrote: I like that you said that by renting a home, you can be sure that maintenance and repairs won't be your responsibility because landlords will handle them for you. My son and I are planning to find a house where we can move next month. We both don't have the luxury of time to keep our property in good condition, and we also lack the passion to upkeep yards, so we'll be sure to find a rental home. Thanks!

Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2018 at 10:37pm.

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