The American dream of owning a home was badly bruised in the great housing market meltdown of 2008. When home values plummeted, many homeowners lost a lot of equity—if not their homes. On the other hand, home renters came through largely unscathed. Now, eight years hence, the real estate market shows an uneven recovery. Home values have risen in some areas of the country but foundered in others. This fact, added to a lot of other variables, makes it trickier than ever before to answer the question: Should I rent or buy a home?
A home purchase represents a lot of dollars. It is typically the biggest purchase of a lifetime. It’s an expense—you pay a lender for providing the capital to make the purchase. Then you pay ongoing expenses of ownership—interest, insurance, utilities, maintenance, repair, and taxes. Buying a home is also an investment. When you decide someday to sell your home, you hope to recoup your outlay and come out a little ahead.
Renting a home has a lot of advantages. You can take occupancy pretty quickly and, when you are ready to vacate, you don’t have to worry with selling. (The average time it takes to sell a house nowadays is about three months—but it can take a lot longer in some areas.) If you don’t like doing yard work and maintenance, renting takes those kinds of hassles off your shoulders. Renting can also give you a chance to build your credit while you save for a down payment to purchase a house, if that is what you want. The primary downside to renting is not building equity for yourself. So, the thinking goes, that portion of rent you pay above and beyond the owner’s expenses could be going into your own pocket.
I believe it’s important to think of a home first as the place you want to live. If you’re uncertain about staying in an area for long, renting may be the right choice. It will give you a chance to become familiar with the community and decide if you want to put down roots. If you decide to purchase a home, it may be difficult to find the home you like quickly. Renting can give you more time to do the searching that will ultimately lead you to your dream home.
If you decide to buy, a licensed realtor can be your best resource for helping you determine which neighborhoods are a good fit. Realtors who carry the CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) designation are among the most knowledgeable.
When you are ready to move into your new place, whether renting or buying, don’t forget to give us a call for your free moving quote.
Grass Valley and Rocklin Real Estate Stats:
Grass Valley Number of Homes and Apartments: 6,077
- 41.42% Owner Occupied
- 58.59% Renter Occupied
- 11.51% Vacant
Rocklin Number of Homes and Apartments: 20,800
- 69.88% Owner Occupied
- 30.12% Renter Occupied
- 4.12% Vacant