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To Buy or Not to Buy?

Most Americans consider renting a home to be a waste of time and money. Why? Renting doesn't allow you to build equity like owning your own home does.

It would seem that the grass is greener on the homeowners' side, but homeownership has its challenges.

Every major purchase has its advantages and disadvantages. But if you're on the fence about renting or buying, this list of pros and cons might help to make a decision. Equifax, a consumer reporting agency, explored the pros and cons of owning a home and developed the following list:

Renting
Pros:

  • Little to no responsibility for maintenance
  • Easier to move from home to home.
  • No closing costs and other home-buying fees

Cons:

  • No tax benefits
  • No equity builds up, no matter how long you stay
  • No control over rent increase
  • Possibility of eviction.

Buying
Pros:

  • Property usually builds equity over time
  • Sense of community, stability, and security
  • Free to change the decor and landscaping
  • Not dependent on anyone else to maintain the property
  • Part of the mortgage interest and real estate taxes are tax-deductible

Cons:

  • Responsible for maintenance, even when it's inconvenient
  • Responsible for property taxes
  • Possibility of foreclosure and loss of equity
  • Less mobility than renting

There are just as many pros and cons on either side of the home buying dilemma. And, the choice to buy comes down to your financial situation.

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