Why it could be better to buy than to rent
There are loads of reasons why you could currently be renting your home. Over the last 10 years we saw mortgages go from being available to anyone with a pulse to being almost impossible to get unless you had a stash of cash tucked away. But with interest rates so low at the moment, things are changing and it might just be better for you to buy than to rent.
Buying your first home will give you both independence and security. Sure it’s scary, but once you’re no longer reliant on landlords or letting agents you can do what you want, when you want to and know that as long as you keep up the repayments on your mortgage, you aren’t going to be served your two months notice.
Without a landlord hanging over you, you make your own rules. You can knock down walls, rip up carpets and paint the kitchen black if you really want to. No more worrying about whether or not you were allowed to hang that picture frame, because it’s your home.
It’s your own space too, meaning you won’t be sharing with anyone you don’t want to. Of course, that means you have to do all of the cleaning, but isn’t it always you anyway?
Probably the biggest benefit of buying your own home is that you would stop throwing good money away. Think about where all of your rent is going. That’s right, straight into your landlord’s pocket. You’re paying for a roof over your head, but with every mortgage payment you’d be adding to the bricks and mortar you can call your very own, instead of funding somebody else’s mortgage.
It could actually be cheaper to buy than to rent. According to recent findings from Zoopla, in many areas monthly rent costs more than a monthly mortgage payment. In Newcastle upon Tyne, my home town, the average rental payment is £591 a month compared to £500 a month for a mortgage payment.
That’s all well and good we hear you say, but what about a deposit? Of course, buying your first home doesn’t come cheap and you will need to save up, which can be a struggle while you’re renting. But don’t believe the hype; buying a home could be easier and cheaper than you think. Did you know that some Mortgages are available with just a 5% deposit, so maybe it’s not that far away.
10 things you’ll know if you hate renting
Renting a home is something more people are now doing for longer. Whether this is while you’re a student, as a temporary fix while you save up for your first mortgage, or because you just don’t want the commitment of a mortgage, the private rental sector can be competitive and infuriating. Here’s some of the things people hate the most about being in a rental:
- Intrusive or overprotective landlords – you know the ones. They drop by at inconvenient times, even though you know they’re not supposed to. They always have an excuse to come by, but you know they’re just double checking you haven’t left a dirty dish out. You may as well still live with your parents.
- The non-existent landlords – hard to say if these are better or worse. They’re never there when something goes wrong and you need it fixed. Leaky taps, broken door locks, it doesn’t matter what it is; you know it won’t get fixed for weeks. When it finally does, it’s on the cheap and lasts a few weeks at most.
- The ‘no pets’ rule – sad face. Some landlords might be nice and let you have a goldfish, perhaps a budgie, but in general they seem to view pets as a cardinal sin whose only purpose is to rip up carpets and stink the place out. It doesn’t matter how much you tell them that Socks is simply a cuddly old cat who would rather sleep than scratch the curtains.
- Speaking of curtains – the deco. If you’re very lucky, you’ll get a rental that’s completely beige with a ‘nothing on the walls’ rule, but pretty clean and modern all the same. You can add your own touch with colourful bedding and cushions; you can cope with it. But many rentals you’ll get mismatched furniture and the avocado bathroom suite matched with orange walls. There’s not a lot you can do to save that.
- Sharing responsibilities – it can feel like a waste of time. Whether you live with your best friends or complete strangers, sharing a fridge with someone who only eats fish and still steals your food or a bathroom with someone who sheds hair like a yeti can be infuriating. Cleaning rotas are ignored and become a daily exchange of passive aggressive notes about the hair blocking the sink but nobody ever seems to fix it.
- You’ve got no privacy. You can’t enjoy a night in alone because there’s always someone there, and its worse if their significant other is always around too. Your bedroom is your salvation; so again, you may as well be living with the ‘rents.
- The insecurity. Nothing about renting is secure. Your tenancy lasts the six or twelve months it states on your contract and after that your landlord is free to ask you to leave. That means finding a new place in an area you can afford, finding the cash for another damage deposit and hoping that the suspicious stain on the stairs doesn’t mean you won’t get the last one back. Just when you start to feel at home it’s time to move on again.
- And that’s another thing – the cost. You’ve got damage deposits and rent up front, plus the dreaded agency admin fees. You can’t afford to keep buying furniture, so you go for a furnished place and you just don’t have anything to show for it at the end of it all. Not even a doorknob. When you think of all the money you’ve spent on rent to line your landlord’s pockets, it makes you feel a little queasy.
- Inspections. Even the cleanest of renters will start to sweat at the thought of a flat inspection. Did you miss a spot under the sink?
- So with all of these negatives why are you renting? Simply put, most people think they can’t afford to save up for a mortgage (because they spend all your money on rent!). It’s a vicious cycle that you just can’t get out of. A rental rut.
Is that true though? The North East is one of the cheapest places in the country to buy and with only a 5% deposit required on some mortgages, buying your own place might be easier and cheaper than you think.
Get in touch with a mortgage adviser at Newcastle Building Society today. Pop into your local branch, call 0345 606 4488 or visit www.newcastle.co.uk
YOUR MORTGAGE WILL BE SECURED ON YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.