Estimated read time: 3 minutes
In the UK, 86% of people want to own their own home - according to the HomeOwners Alliance
However, renting is often a necessary step before being able to buy a home of your own.
As housing prices continue to rise, becoming a first-time buyer is becoming increasingly more difficult.
Depending on interest rates, and the size of your deposit, your monthly mortgage repayments could prove cheaper than rent payments.
Yet as a homeowner, there are many extra costs on top of the initial deposit and fees.
This can include insurance and property maintenance costs.
On average private renters spend 33% of their income on rent, compared to the average mortgage taking up 22% of a person's income - according to the latest English Housing Survey
The same survey shows that 26% of all private renters have reported difficulty with paying their rent on time.
Renting is famous for its disadvantages – but it does have some advantages too.
Advantages to Renting
Flexibility - most contracts are 12-months which makes moving easier and quicker. Tenants also have the option to give a landlord notice and leave their tenancy early in exceptional circumstances.
Maintenance is not your responsibility - in rented accommodation the landlord is responsible when something breaks or goes wrong.
Budgeting is easier - knowing how much your rent will be, and when it will be paid each month can make it easier to budget and plan for the future.
Location - top UK locations are out of reach for most people looking to buy. While rental prices would be high (likely similar or more than mortgage repayments) you can still enjoy living in the location without the hefty deposit needed to buy a property in the same area.
Disadvantages to Renting
Paying your landlord's mortgage - doesn’t invest in your own future or get you any closer to becoming a homeowner
Having to follow tenancy rules - which are likely to include restrictions on decorating, modifying the property, and owning pets.
Rent can increase - rent can be subject to sudden increases. Although there is protection for tenants with what is considered a reasonable rent increase, this could still unexpectedly impact your budgeting and finances.
Insecurity - landlords will have the final say and could leave you rushing to find somewhere to live if they decide to end your tenancy early.
Advantages to Buying
Security - can’t be forced to move at short notice by a landlord.
Freedom - not restricted by any tenancy rules and free to make structural modifications to enhance the value of the property.
Investment into your future - monthly payments go towards something that is yours and gain equity that can be used in the future.
Control - having a fixed-rate mortgage helps control costs compared to a landlord who may increase rent.
Disadvantages to Buying
Financial commitment - as well as saving for a deposit, you must be able to meet monthly mortgage payments. Stretching your budget when buying might cause strain later on. Any change to financial circumstances that would lead to struggling to pay a mortgage could mean your home is repossessed.
Property market can change - the overall trend is for property values to rise over time. There is always the possibility that if prices fall you could end up with negative equity and a house worth less than its mortgage, making it difficult to sell.
Additional costs - extra insurance to cover buildings and contents, as well as protecting your mortgage if something were to happen to you. Maintenance and repairs costs would also fall directly to the homeowner.
Less flexibility - moving is more expensive when you own a property as estate agency and legal fees must be paid. Consider also the complicated costs of separation when any property is involved.
If you decide to buy a property, we recommend finding a reputable independent mortgage broker who can maximise your chances of a successful application.
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