Jean Chatzky is a personal finance expert, Senior Editor at
The Balance, and coauthor of the book “Age Proof.” Here Chatzky shares things to keep in mind when choosing to rent or buy a home. The following is a transcript of the video.
When should you buy a home and when should you rent?
You should buy when you’re planning on being somewhere for at least a good few years and when you’ve looked at the cost calculus and it makes sense for you to put money into a home.
It’s not just the mortgage payment. You’ve got to remember that. There are other costs to homeownership that come along for the ride. There’s maintenance which can eat up 1 to 2% a year. There’s taxes. There’s insurance. There’s lawn care if you’ve got a lawn. There’s snow removal if you’ve got a driveway. There are things that you may not be counting on.
The flipside of that is that if you look at appreciation in most markets, home prices are expected to continue to appreciate at a little bit above the rate of inflation so that’s good. It doesn’t make it a killer investment but it makes it a supplemental way to save.
If you expect that you’re going to be some place for a long time and you want to build up a supplemental savings account, paying off a mortgage is a really, really good way to do that. To have a lump sum that then you can take and invest in another property, when you decide that you’re going to move.
I think it just comes a point where you want to own a home. Where you want to take that place and make it yours, and put some roots down and it feels, as someone who has owned homes, it feels different to own a place than to rent a place. And so, if you’re at that stage in your life then I think it becomes something that you look at.
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