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Should you rent or buy? Ask yourself these four questions

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All of these rising costs will help you decide whether to borrow or buy a dizzying debate.

“Buy now before your mortgage rates get even higher and you start building equity!” Says your buying mind. “Keep financial flexibility and keep the cost of getting in and out low!” Says urging people to borrow.

There is a debate about “waiting for it” until prices don’t rise that fast. But for most people, housing is not a discretionary need, it is a need.

Ultimately, the decision depends on where you live, your financial health, how long you plan to live in your home, and what your cash flow looks like. There are some questions you can ask yourself to choose whether to buy or rent.

where do you live?

In more than half of the 50 largest cities in the United States, the monthly cost of buying a starter home was more affordable than renting a unit of the same size. In a report from Realtor.com released earlier this year.

However, given the surge in home prices, there are some areas where it is more affordable to rent than to buy.

For example, Austin, Texas is the most profitable place to rent than buy in January. Then came New York. San Francisco; San Jose, CA; Seattle; Boston; Denver; Rochester, NY; Portland, Oregon; and Los Angeles.

In these 10 cities, monthly payments associated with starting home purchases averaged 42% higher than rent, or $ 978 higher. Starter homes for sale at these locations included an average condominium share higher than national prices and a more expensive Homeowner Association fee.

A place where buying was more profitable than renting was in Birmingham, Alabama, where the cost of buying a starter home was 44.3% lower than the cost of renting in January. This was followed by Cleveland, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

In two Florida cities, Tampa and Orlando, January’s annual rent growth was the fastest, making buying more attractive despite rising home prices and mortgage rates.

Are you financially healthy?

The decision to rent or buy for most people isn’t about home prices or rents, but about whether you’re ready to become a homeowner.

What does your savings look like after the down payment has been paid? What is your credit score? Are you eligible for a mortgage? Can I pay monthly?

Andrew Dressel, financial planner for Abundo Wealth in Minneapolis, has six months’ worth of emergency funding, $ 10,000 in cash to cover closing and moving costs, and a credit score when considering a purchase. I hope to be over 720. ..

“Emergency savings are very important and there is room for more wiggles in the 720 credit score,” he said.

In addition, the overall cost of owning a home, including mortgages and utilities, taxes, appliances and garden maintenance, and the cost of daily damage, should not exceed 40% of a person’s takeaway payment. Hmm. Said.

“They also need to make sure they aren’t sacrificing their retirement or other goals just to own a home now,” Dressel said.

How long do you live there?

If you plan to live somewhere for only a few years, experts generally recommend renting.

Jay Aborofia, a certified financial planner at Lyon Financial, said that if you feel overwhelmed or in a hurry to buy in a busy, low-stock market, renting is bad for a year or so to land. It states that it is not a place.

How much house can you afford?

He said interest rates and home prices are often inversely proportional, dismissing the urgency that many potential buyers feel is fixed before mortgage rates rise.

“When interest rates fall, there is upward pressure on house prices,” he said. “Low interest rates don’t mean it’s a good time to buy, and high interest rates don’t mean it’s a bad time to buy a home.”

But according to Aborofia, it’s always a good time to buy if you plan to stay there for a while.

Leonard Steinberg, a New York compass agent, cross-checks himself asking if the number of homes to buy is too conservative.

“You have to be conservative enough to be able to sleep and eat at night,” Steinberg said. “But many are too conservative.”

He said he often saw people buying houses that were too small, and after a few years they realized that the space wasn’t working for them.

“Now they have the cost of buying and selling again,” he said, including closing costs, inspections, valuations and real estate agent fees. “It costs money to move a lot.”

How much is your monthly payment?

As a homeowner, you need to calculate what your cash flow will be with your monthly mortgage payments, the amount of money you need to complete a transaction in advance, and the amount you need to maintain it.

Noah Damsky, a certified financial analyst at Marina Wealth Advisors in Los Angeles, doesn’t make sense to rush into your home before you can comfortably cover these costs.

Damski recommends that monthly mortgage payments do not exceed 35% of total income. But that is the upper limit. Other models are more conservative and offer 25% to keep the debt-to-earning ratio low. An intermediate recommendation is to spend less than 28% of your total monthly income on mortgage payments.

What about my monthly mortgage payments?

Also, some potential buyers expect tax benefits from owning a home, such as mortgage interest, property tax payments, and other costs deducted from federal income tax invoices. However, damski is careful not to go too far.

“I’m trying to ease their expectations by explaining that tax incentives are often significantly offset by maintenance costs of about 1% per year.”

Matt Highland, financial planner for Arnold and Mortwealth Management in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, needs to warn that the out-of-pocket costs for home care can be even higher. He advises homebuyers to budget 2% to 3% of the value of a home to cover maintenance and maintenance.

“It’s important to make sure you find a monthly payment that you can afford,” says Hylland. “But don’t forget to add to the other costs you face as a homeowner.”

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