Businesses + Events

Renting Vs. Buying | Q&A

2/21/2017 | Candace Mau

Deciding to buy a home is a huge decision...we know this better than anyone. The idea of owning a home may seem unrealistic or, at times, completely unreachable. Over the years, we've heard myriad questions and doubts from our clients who rent, and from all of it, we've gleaned one undeniable truth: Despite any actual obstacles that come with buying a home, most of them are merely perceived. Curiosity is a good thing, friends, but we'd hate to think that unfounded concerns are preventing you from building equity and having a space of your own.

To that end, we thought it worth sharing a few of our thoughts in the interest of putting you at ease. Of course, every situation is different and each warrants a conversation with a realtor (we know a few good ones). Below are a few things we tend to hear frequently, followed up by truths from practiced realtors. Sort through it a bit...if it lingers in your mind, give us a ring. (And for those who'd like a face-to-face chat before Spring, this sensational agent is hosting a First-time Home Buyer Clinic on March 29th...info below.)

Too much pressure. Renting is temporary, but choosing the perfect house means finding "home"...it seems so permanent.

We won't wax too philosophical here, but there is an argument to everything being temporary. Of course, this is what we see everyday...buying is our business, but so is selling. Once you're ready for something new, that house you made 'home' (even for just a short spell) can be the best starting point for something better, something you need more. You make money on real estate when you purchase it, contrary to popular belief. Making sure you have the bigger picture in mind is part of our buying conversation.

I can't afford a house!
We hear this one all the time. But do you know what we hear just as often? Something along the lines of, "I can afford that much?!?" Most often people are surprised to hear what they can afford...not the opposite. And, in those situations where you need a bit more time, we can certainly help give you the tools to get there.

I can't own a house, I'm not old enough.
A few of us bought our first homes in our low 20s, and most of us probably thought the same thing. In fact, it's a concern we get from folks well into their 30s. Adult-ing is a weird business...one that doesn't necessarily correlate with age. Buying a house is an interesting marker in the passing of time. It's a rite of passage of sorts. Real estate should be viewed as a conduit for investment in all aspects of your life. You're leveling up--investing in more of whatever you need. More fun, more time, and ultimately, more money.

Will I be "house poor"?
It's a good question, and one we can tackle with the help of one of our many affiliate lenders (they know their stuff). Everyone's situation is different, of course, and worth a conversation, but most are pleasantly surprised by their readiness to buy. You're already paying for a place to live...might as well make it your own. In a way, you're already budgeting for it.

I don't know how to fix things, nor do I have the time or energy to do so. What about all the repairs my landlord covers?
There is a learning curve to addressing those things in your home that break or malfunction, for sure. You're likely to take a little more pride in something you own, but we can't guarantee you'll fall in love with spackling or winterizing or "re-sealing the bottom of this effing toilet". If that's the case, there's no shame in having the number of a good handyman on speed dial. And we happen to know a few of those.

If I save everything I have for my down payment, I'll have nothing left to move into the house.
This is a concern we hear a lot, but most people are pleasantly surprised by the reality. For first-time home buyers (especially), there is a stellar Utah Housing program that will lend the down payment...which is awesome. Once the math is done, it's easy to see how quickly the money is made back in savings (by investing in yourself rather than tossing it to a landlord).

What is a normal down payment?
For many loan programs, the minimum is 3.5%. The more you put down, the better your terms...but this is a good one to chat more with us about, as we can better assess your specific situation.

I don't want to be tied to one city.
Yeah, yeah...commitment is a rough gig. We get that. But the freedom to sell is greater than you'd expect. Sure, sometimes it's complicated, and we have to help people out of difficult situations, but our primary objective is to put you in a better position.

If you can pay $1,000 in rent you can afford a house.
When deciding to purchase a home as opposed to renting, cost is the primary consideration for most, and there's more truth in this than you might think. As this market shifts, this can too, of course. But yes...it's a decent rule of thumb. If you're paying $1,000 in rent, you can probably afford to own a home. With the current market, we've actually been able to help people save money by purchasing. You can check out this cool graph to get an idea of what we mean...or you can come chat with us at the clinic below. Let's get into it!

First-Time Home Buyer Clinic | Wednesday, Mar. 29th, 7:00pm to 9:00pm | CHC Lounge, 645 E South Temple

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