Is It Better To Rent Than Buy a Home Right Now?

Is It Better To Rent Than Buy a Home Right Now?

Is It Better To Rent Than Buy a Home Right Now? Simplifying The Market

You may have seen reports in the news recently saying it’s more affordable to rent right now than it is to buy a home. And while that may be true in some markets if you just look at typical monthly payments, there’s one thing that the numbers aren’t factoring in: and that’s home equity. Here’s a look at how big of an impact equity can have and why it’s worth considering as you make your decision.

What the Headlines Are Based on

The graph below uses national data on the median rental payment from Realtor.com and median mortgage payment from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to compare the two options. As the graph shows, especially if you’re not looking for a lot of space, it can be more affordable on a monthly basis to rent:

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But if you’re looking for something with 2 bedrooms, the gap between the median rent and the median mortgage payment starts to shrink to a difference that may be more doable. The median monthly mortgage payment is $2,040. The median monthly rent for 2 bedrooms is $1,889. That’s a difference of about $151 a month. But here’s what happens when you factor in equity too.

How Equity Changes the Game

If you rent, your monthly rental payments only go toward covering your housing costs and your landlord’s expenses. So other than saving a bit more per month and maybe getting your rental deposit back when you move, the money you spent on housing each month is gone – forever.

When you buy, your monthly mortgage payment pays for your shelter, but it also acts as an investment. That investment grows in the form of equity as you make your mortgage payment each month and chip away at what you owe on your home loan. Your equity gets an extra boost as home values climb – which they typically do.

To give you a clearer idea of how equity can really stack up fast, here’s some data for you. Each quarter, Fannie Mae and Pulsenomics publish the results of the Home Price Expectations Survey (HPES). It asks more than 100 economists, real estate professionals, and investment and market strategists what they think will happen with home prices. In the latest release, those experts say home prices are going to keep going up over the next five years.

Here’s an example of how equity builds based on the projections from the HPES (see graph below):

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Imagine you purchased a home for $400,000 at the start of this year. Chances are, since you bought, you plan to stay put for a while. Based on the HPES projections, if you live there for 5 years, you could end up gaining over $83,000 in household wealth as your home grows in value.

Here’s how that stacks up compared to renting, using the overall median rent from above:

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While you may save a bit on your monthly payments if you rent right now, you’ll also miss out on gaining equity.

So, what’s the big takeaway? Whether it makes more sense to rent or buy is going to vary based on your personal finances. It’s not a good idea to buy if the numbers truly don’t work for you. But, if you’re ready and able, adding equity as the final puzzle piece may be enough to help you realize buying is a better move in the long run.

Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, buying a home gives you a benefit renting just can’t provide – and that’s the chance to gain equity. If you want to take advantage of long-term home price appreciation, talk to a local real estate agent to go over your options.

Why So Many People Fall in Love with Homeownership

Why So Many People Fall in Love with Homeownership

Why So Many People Fall in Love with Homeownership Simplifying The Market

Chances are at some point in your life you’ve heard the phrase, home is where the heart is. There’s a reason that’s said so often. Becoming a homeowner is emotional.

So, if you’re trying to decide if you want to keep on renting or if you’re ready to buy a home this year, here’s why it’s so easy to fall in love with homeownership.

Customizing to Your Heart’s Desire

Your house should be a space that’s uniquely you. And, if you’re a renter, that can be hard to achieve. When you rent, the paint colors are usually the standard shade of white, you don’t have much control over the upgrades, and you’ve got to be careful how many holes you put in the walls. But when you’re a homeowner, you have a lot more freedom. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

“The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.”

Whether you want to paint the walls a cheery bright color or go for a dark moody tone, you can match your interior to your vibe. Imagine how it would feel to come home at the end of the day and walk into a space that feels like you.

Greater Stability for the Ones You Love Most

One of the hardest things about renting is the uncertainty of what happens at the end of your lease. Does your payment go up so much that you have to move? What if your landlord decides to sell the property? It’s like you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jeff Ostrowski, a business journalist covering real estate and the economy, explains how homeownership can give you more peace of mind in a Money Geek article:

“Homeownership means you are the boss and have the biggest say in your lifestyle and family decisions. Suppose your kids are in public school and you don’t want to risk having them change schools because your landlord doesn’t renew your lease. Owning a home would remove much of the risk of having to move.”

A Feeling of Belonging

You may also find you feel much more at home in the community once you own a house. That’s because, when you buy a home, you’re staking a claim and saying, I’m a part of this community. You’ll have neighbors, block parties, and more. And that’ll give you the feeling of being a part of something bigger. As the International Housing Association explains:

“. . . homeowning households are more socially involved in community affairs than their renting counterparts. This is due to both the fact that homeowners expect to remain in the community for a longer period of time and that homeowners have an ownership stake in the neighborhood.”

The Emotional High of Achieving Your Dream

Becoming a homeowner is a journey – and it may have been a long road to get to the point where you’re ready to take the plunge. If you’re seriously considering leaving behind your rental and making this commitment, you should know the emotions that come with this owning a home are powerful. You’ll be able to walk up to your front door every day and have that sense of accomplishment welcome you home. 

Bottom Line

A home is a place that reflects who you are, a safe space for the ones you love the most, and a reflection of all you’ve accomplished. Connect with a local real estate professional if you’re ready to break up with your rental and buy a home.

Home Prices Forecast To Climb over the Next 5 Years [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Prices Forecast To Climb over the Next 5 Years [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Prices Forecast To Climb over the Next 5 Years [INFOGRAPHIC] Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • If you’re worried about what’s next for home prices, know the HPES shows experts are projecting they’ll continue to rise at least through 2028.
  • Based on that forecast, if you bought a $400,000 house this year, experts say it could gain over $72,000 in equity over the next five years. 
  • If you’re worried about falling home prices, don’t be. Many experts forecast they’ll keep rising for years to come. If you have questions, ask a local real estate agent.
The Dramatic Impact of Homeownership on Net Worth

The Dramatic Impact of Homeownership on Net Worth

The Dramatic Impact of Homeownership on Net Worth Simplifying The Market

If you’re trying to decide whether to rent or buy a home this year, here’s a powerful insight that could give you the clarity and confidence you need to make your decision.

Every three years, the Federal Reserve releases the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which compares net worth for homeowners and renters. The latest report shows the average homeowner’s net worth is almost 40X greater than a renter’s (see graph below):

One reason a wealth gap exists between renters and homeowners is because when you’re a homeowner, your equity grows as your home appreciates in value and you make your mortgage payment each month. When you own a home, your monthly mortgage payment acts like a form of forced savings, which eventually pays off when you decide to sell. As a renter, you’ll never see a financial return on the money you pay out in rent every month. Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First American, explains it like this:

“Renters don’t capture the wealth generated by house price appreciation, nor do they benefit from the equity gains generated by monthly mortgage payments . . .”

The Largest Part of Most Homeowner Net Worth Is Their Equity

Home equity does more to build the average household’s wealth than anything else. According to data from First American and the Federal Reserve, this holds true across different income levels (see graph below):

The blue segment in each bar represents how much of a homeowner’s net worth comes from their home equity. Based on this data, it’s clear no matter what your income level is, owning a home can really boost your wealth. Nicole Bachaud, Senior Economist at Zillow, shares:

“The biggest asset most people are ever going to own is a home. Homeownership is really that financial key that helps unlock stability and wealth preservation across generations.”

If you’re ready to start building your net worth, the current real estate market offers several opportunities you should consider. For example, with mortgage rates trending lower lately, your purchasing power may be higher now than it has been in months. And, with more inventory coming to the market, there are more options for you to consider. A local real estate agent can walk you through the opportunities you have today and guide you through the process of finding your ideal home.

Bottom Line

If you’re unsure about whether to rent or buy a home, keep in mind that owning a home can increase your overall wealth in the long run, no matter your income. To discover more about this and the many other benefits of homeownership, connect with a local real estate agent.

How To Turn Homeownership into a Side Hustle

How To Turn Homeownership into a Side Hustle

How To Turn Homeownership into a Side Hustle Simplifying The Market

Does the rising cost of just about everything these days make your dream of owning your own home feel less within reach? According to Bankrate, many people are seeking additional income through side hustles, possibly to cope with those increasing expenses and save for a home. This trend is particularly popular with younger individuals who may be dealing with student loan debt (see graph below):

 

Here are two strategies that can not only make homeownership more affordable in the short term, but turn it into a lucrative side hustle that can pay off down the road.

Transforming the Challenge of a Fixer-Upper into an Opportunity

One thing you could do to help you break into homeownership is consider purchasing a fixer-upper. That’s a home that may be a bit less appealing and as a result has lingered on the market longer than normal. According to a recent article from U.S. News:

“The current state of the housing market may have you expanding your options to try to find a home that you can afford. A fixer-upper that needs some updating and a little love can feel like a welcome alternative to move-in ready houses that go off the market before you can even take a tour.

By opting for a home that requires some work, you may see two big benefits. For starters, you may find it’s easier to find a home because you’re not looking for that perfect option. Plus, it may also help you enter the housing market at a lower price point. This strategy provides a more affordable way to become a homeowner while also offering the potential for future profits.

Yes, the home may need a little elbow grease, but investing time and effort into gradually enhancing your house not only makes it a home but also increases its future market value. So, while you enjoy the satisfaction of turning a house into a home, you’re also building equity that can be unlocked when it’s time to sell.

Renting Out a Portion of Your Home To Make It More Affordable

Another savvy strategy is to purchase a home with the upfront intention of renting out a portion of it. According to a recent press release from Zillow, renting out a part of their home is already very important for most young homebuyers (see graph below):

 

This approach serves a strong purpose. As Manny Garcia, Senior Population Scientist at Zillow, says:

“For those first-time buyers navigating the ‘side hustle culture,’ where a regular 9-to-5 might not quite cut it for homeownership dreams, rental income can step in to help . . .”

Basically, it can help you afford your monthly mortgage payments. So if you’re open to it, renting out a portion of your home not only helps with affordability, but it also positions you as an investor and turns your home into a source of income.

Bottom Line

In the face of today’s affordability challenges, both of these strategies offer more attainable paths to homeownership, especially for younger buyers. If you want to discuss these options and see how they might play out for you in your local market, connect with a trusted real estate agent.

Why Homeowners Are Thankful They Own

Why Homeowners Are Thankful They Own

Why Homeowners Are Thankful They Own Simplifying The Market

Countless people have set out on the exciting journey of homeownership. Ask around and you’ll find the vast majority are thankful they took the leap and bought a home. But why? It’s because of the many emotional and lifestyle benefits that come with being a homeowner.

So, if you’re trying to decide if you want to rent or buy a home, here are just a few of the many benefits you could look forward to if you buy.

It’s a Safe Haven

Owning a home goes beyond just having a roof over your head. It provides a sense of security and safety. In fact, in a survey from Fannie Mae, respondents say “having a sense of privacy and security” is one of the top reasons homeownership is preferred to renting. And in a different Fannie Mae survey, “living in a place where you and your family feels safe” is another one of the top benefits of homeownership.

Your home is a place where you can truly relax and unwind. Knowing that you have a sanctuary to return to at the end of the day is a great source of comfort.

It’s a Canvas for Self-Expression

For many homeowners, their home is a reflection of who they are. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.

From the color of the front door to the art hanging on the walls, every detail contributes to a unique expression of personal style. Put simply, owning a home gives you the freedom to make changes and improvements that resonate with your personality.

It Helps You Feel More Connected to the Community

Stability is another cornerstone of homeownership. The longer you stay put, the more emotionally connected you are to your community. For example, if your neighborhood does cook-outs, block parties, or other events, you’ll feel more engaged and probably build meaningful relationships with those around you. As NAR states:

Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community.”

The sense of community where you can make life-long friends helps give you more stability and predictability than you’d have if you move each time a rental lease renews.

Its Where Lifelong Memories Are Made

Not to mention, your home is where you’ll make many memories. It’s a backdrop for the stories of your life. Celebrating milestones, hosting gatherings, and building a treasure trove of special moments within the walls of your home is a heartwarming experience to be thankful for.

Bottom Line

As you start thinking about buying a home, remember why so many people are glad they did. Homeownership isn’t just a financial decision. It’s about having a stable place where you can make lasting memories. If you’re thinking of buying a home and want advice, talk with a trusted real estate agent.

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