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When a person is finding a new place to live, one of the decisions they will typically have to make is whether to buy a home or instead rent a place. The “buy or rent” decision is one that has big implications, so it is one to think about carefully.

Owning and renting each have potential upsides. Upsides of home ownership include: being able to build up equity, getting to have a great amount of control regarding one’s living space, potential tax benefits and the possibility of property value increases. Upsides of renting include greater flexibility regarding one’s housing situation and not having as many responsibilities regarding a property. 

Each option, however, also has possible drawbacks. The possibility of property values going down, the great amount of work that being a homeowner can entail, the many costs related to home ownership and perhaps having less flexibility regarding their housing situation are among the things individuals may find unattractive about owning a home. Meanwhile, being subject to restrictions from one’s landlord, not building up equity and not actually “owning” the space they live in are among the downsides of renting.

Now, many things about a person’s individual situation can influence how impactful these various upsides and downsides would be for them. So, carefully considering one’s own situation can be very important when making the buy or rent decision.

Whether a person decides to buy or rent, there are major legal issues that could arise in relation to their housing situation. Experienced real estate attorneys can help home owners and prospective home owners with legal matters such as sales agreement issues, mortgage issues and closing issues. Such attorneys can also help renters with issues such as lease agreement matters and disputes with landlords. 

Source: USA Today, “AdviceIQ: Is it better to be renting or buying at this time?,” Sheri Iannetta Cupo, Feb. 20, 2016