from an expert in the field:
Robbie Cronrod is a board member of the American Apartment Owners
Association ( www.AAOA.com).
Are social media actually
making us less social?
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE
advantages to buying, a decision this important should
not be based solely on such
financial considerations as
current housing prices. This
is a lifestyle choice.
Renting offers the advantage of a predictable
monthly expense, making it easier for you to set
aside funds for saving and investing, education,
vacations or starting a business. Renting is less
costly than buying when you take into account the
down payment, mortgage payments, property
taxes, utilities or condo fees, insurance and repair
and maintenance costs.
Renting sometimes comes with attractive amenities, such as a swimming pool, fitness center, barbecue area and party room within the rental
complex. If these activities are important to you,
imagine the savings on gym memberships alone!
In apartment buildings renters can interact with
neighbors without going outside. If you are a senior
citizen or someone with a disability who lives in a
northern state, this can be very beneficial during
the winter months.
Renting offers more freedom—not only the
freedom that extra money provides, and the free
time not spent maintaining the house, but, perhaps
more important, the freedom to move when you
want to without being subject to market conditions. There may be nothing worse than being in a
position where you have to sell your home due to
divorce, job loss or transfer or illness, and the market conditions are such that it won’t sell. New
homeowners often have no assets other than their
home, and if the housing market stays the same or
turns down in their area it can be a very long time
before it’s advantageous to sell.
All in all, renting may provide the quality of life
that many homeowners long for as they give up
their spare time mowing lawns and fixing leaks.
Renting affords the opportunity and money to
enjoy life without the responsibilities of debt and
maintenance and the risk of market pressures such
as shrinking values.
Before you decide what is best for you, be sure
to evaluate the big picture of renting versus owning, not just the long-term financial impact. A
home, whether you rent or buy, should fit your lifestyle first and be an investment second. C
Percentage reflects votes
received by December 12, 2012.
Should voting be
YES: 31% NO: 69%
from an expert in the field:
votes received by
November 30, 2012.
Gary Thomas is the 2013 president of the National Association of Realtors®
DESPITE THE ONGOING
challenges of the economy,
homeownership is an investment in the future, and more
than 75 million home-own-ing Americans recognize the
benefits it brings over time.
Rising rents alone can drive the value of homeownership. The National Association of Realtors
(NAR) Commercial Real Estate Market Survey
forecasts that vacancy rates in the apartment rental
market will continue to decrease, creating a landlord’s market in which greater demand justifies
higher rents. As rents around the country continue
to increase, it makes sense to consider owning a
home instead of renting.
For many people, now really is a good time to
buy a home. The inventory is high in some areas,
prices are down and mortgage rates are near historic lows. That means mortgage payments could
be cheaper than monthly rent. And unlike rent, a
fixed-rate mortgage won’t steadily increase at the
landlord’s discretion. After all, a fixed-rate mortgage might last 15 to 30 years; renting is forever.
Buying a home has never been more afford-
able. The combination of lower home prices,
higher median family incomes and current low
interest rates has opened a door for many families
that may have been previously shut out of home-
ownership. The NAR’s Housing Affordability Index
shows that nationally the median-priced home was
more affordable for the median-income family in
2012 than it was the year before.
Opinions expressed are those of
the individuals or organizations
represented and are presented
to foster discussion. Costco and
The Costco Connection take no
position on any Debate topic.