A wooden house surrounded by a huge yard.

The question of whether to buy a home or continue renting, is a decision that requires care. No option is wrong, but they both come with their respective lists of pros and cons. It's difficult to decide whether to rent or buy in the Boston area. The rental fees have increased since the pandemic started, with the associated rent for an average apartment rising up to $3,000. It appears the situation is the same with properties for sale, although recent reports suggest the median price has seen a slight drop. However, who's to say what the future will bring? 

With that in mind, before making a move, carefully analyzing all aspects of renting and buying is imperative. It’s also a matter of personal preference: some people feel better as owners, while others prefer renting. If you are unsure whether to rent or buy, this article will outline the differences between the two choices, making it easier to come to an ultimate decision.

The advantages of renting

There are certain situations in which it makes more sense to rent than it does to buy. For instance, renting offers people flexibility, and the same can't always be said about homeownership. Furthermore, there are additional benefits of becoming a renter, which includes:

  • Renters have the option of renting a property on a short-term or long-term basis.
  • Moving on to the next property whenever a tenant feels like it is possible, as long as they've given a notice first.
  • Maintenance costs typically fall under the responsibilities of a landlord.
  • There's no mortgage associated with renting and no legal fees.
  • Tenants that don't have the necessary furniture and appliances have a pool of partially and fully furnished properties to choose from.
  • Renting represents a kind of a fail-safe for those that are just starting to live with their significant others.

Moreover, the moving team behind preferred-movers.com argues that, by renting out a place, you're allowing yourself to move out a lot quicker than if you were moving out of your own house. There will likely be fewer furniture pieces and other belongings to take care of. The process itself is much easier, too, and includes significantly less paperwork.

Professional movers handling a move.

It's much easier to move out as a tenant than a homeowner.

The disadvantages of renting

Although there are essentially more pros than cons, certain disadvantages are worth mentioning:

  • It's up to the landlord to determine the rental fee. They also have the freedom to increase the amount once it's time to renew the lease.
  • Decorating without the owner's approval is not allowed.
  • Repairs might take longer, considering it's the landlord's responsibility to get in touch with the professionals capable of tackling them.
  • In case the owner decides to sell, staying at the premises is no longer an option.
  • There is always a possibility of not getting the deposit back.

The advantages of buying

When faced with the buying vs. renting dilemma, leaning towards homeownership is warranted, considering the positive aspects of being an owner of a Boston property.

  • As an owner, getting evicted is not possible as long as you commit to paying the mortgage on time.
  • You are free to decorate your own house in any way, shape, or form.
  • When something goes wrong, homeowners can immediately call for help without waiting for anyone's approval.
  • The property becomes yours once the mortgage has been paid off.
  • The value of the home is likely to increase down the line. This could be beneficial should you ever decide to sell.

A row of tiny house models

In terms of buying vs. renting, buying has an advantage when it comes to building equity.

The disadvantages of buying

Unfortunately, not everything about buying a home is a smooth process. With possibly your entire life's savings on the line, you can't afford not knowing about the cons of owning:

  • It takes time to save up enough money for a down payment. With the median down payment in Boston being close to $80,000, gathering the funds is anything but simple. Furthermore, the fact that property prices are constantly rising in no way alleviates the situation.
  • Only a small percentage of people can afford to make an all-cash purchase. Those that can't must commit to a mortgage for the next decade, two, or longer.
  • Repair costs fall under the responsibilities of a homeowner.
  • Homebuying isn't a particularly transparent process. As a matter of fact, it comes with a variety of hidden expenses.
  • Those that decide to sell could have a hard time finding a buyer, depending on whether the market is hot or cold. Additionally, market trends are subject to change, thus making it more difficult to predict whether they'll work in one's favor.
  • Interest rates tend to fluctuate. Those with variable-rate mortgages could, ultimately, see their monthly payments rise.

A mortgage broker holding a house model

Those that choose to buy are essentially committing to a mortgage for a number of years

To rent or to buy - the conclusion

Buying vs. renting - which is right for you? It's tough to say since both choices are flawed in a way. As was noted at the beginning, choosing between the two comes down to personal preference. Some people think of renting as spending money in vain. Others are fine with it when considering the flexibility it offers and the fact there are virtually no obligations associated with it. The rest prefer having their own home, despite all the responsibilities. In the end, if you are still having doubts about whether to rent or buy, consulting a professional is the way to go. By doing so, you should be able to figure out what option is the right one for you!