Shelter is one of the most basic of necessities. In general, people can either rent a place to live or buy property. Homeownership is often idealized, but it is not without its own pros and cons. Because financial situations vary from one person to the next, owning a home may be ideal for some while renting shelter may be the best situation for others.
Equity is a primary concern when deciding whether to rent an apartment or own an home. Homeownership builds equity. In general, the owner reaps the benefits of any improvements made on the home. If the owner renovates the kitchen, the overall value of the home increases and the owner may experience that gain when he sells the property. Renting a home, in contrast, does not build equity. The landlord reaps the benefit of any improvements and the payments towards living in the rental only go into the landlord's pocket; the renter does not own anything.
Homeownership grants a large degree of stability in a person's life, and that can be either a pro or a con. While some people enjoy the stability homeownership offers, renting an apartment affords a certain degree of freedom and flexibility. A homeowner cannot simply or easily walk away from the investment in the property; a renter, in contrast, can find a new place to live relatively easily. A person's lifestyle generally dictates the effect stability --- or the lack of it --- has on the decision to rent or own.
Like stability, upkeep can act as a double-edged sword. Homeownership requires the owner to put in all costs associated with maintaining the property. Do-it-yourselfers might enjoy the challenge of keeping up a home, while others may view it as a burden. Renting, in contrast, entitles the tenant to a safe and habitable living space. This means that the landlord must make any necessary repairs to maintain the livability of the apartment.
Loans and Other Finances
Finances can also be a determining factor. Homeownership often requires securing a mortgage and maintaining a home insurance policy. Mortgage financing may not be available to every prospective owner; finances, a job and credit score may disqualify a person from securing a loan. Additionally, property owners must pay property taxes. In contrast, renting a home does not require any formal financing and the renter does not directly pay property taxes.
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