Monday, March 28, 2016
By Jed Williams
Rent vs. Buy

If you’re trying to make the decision to continue renting or to buy your first home, it may seem a little overwhelming. Renting seems like an easy choice: you don’t have to find a home to buy, you don’t have to secure financing, and the process of buying just sounds arduous. You may, however, be missing out on a great opportunity if you don’t at least consider buying.

Today’s market in our area offers amazing opportunities for first time home buyers. Even if you don’t have any cash in hand to put down on a home, there are deals out there that allow zero down payment. There are loan programs and Montgomery County offers MPDUs (moderately priced dwelling units) for those who are a little on the lower earning end of the spectrum. Of course there are a lot of things to consider aside from the financial aspect, but it is hard to deny that your finances will play a big role in whether or not you choose to buy a home.

Renting an apartment in Montgomery County is fairly expensive. My husband and I have lived in many places up and down the east coast, and this area is definitely the priciest. We rented a 500 square foot studio apartment in Rockville for a little over $2000 per month. Of course, we were paying for location and amenities, but that price per square foot isn’t too far outside the average for the area. When we decided to move and buy a home, we found that we could get almost 2000 square feet of living space in Clarksburg for under $2000 per month, including HOA and condo fees. Of course we had to sacrifice location and a few amenities, but you have to decide which of those things is right for you.

Also part of the financial decision is how much money you have saved up. With loan programs that offer financing with zero down, it may be less of a consideration, but not everyone qualifies for those programs and not all lending institutions offer them. You also may have spent your younger years living off of credit cards and now your credit is less than great. Maybe you want to spend some time getting that in order before you apply for a loan.

Other than the financial, there might be things going on in your life that you’ll want to consider: are you getting married soon? Planning on having kids? Do you want a dog? Are you even planning on staying in the area long enough for a home to gain equity? All of these are important questions to consider, and your answers to them might sway you one way or the other. Whether or not you’ve made a decision one way or the other, you may want to talk to a Hagan Agent. They will have some insight into the market and anecdotally that may help you make your decision.

Jed WilliamsJed Williams
Principle Broker and founder of Hagan Realty