Renting vs. Buying?
I believe that renting vs. buying is really a personal choice. It also depends on where you want to buy and how much you can afford to pay for the down payment and closing, mortgage, taxes, water, sewage, landscaping, garbage removal and repairs, especially if it is an older house...... I have been both a renter and a homeowner and at this time I have decided to rent. Why? The last two houses I bought were nice, but I didn't like the way the area changed shortly after moving in. The first house was in the Bronx, the neighborhood completely changed within two years after buying my home. It went from quiet to people playing their music in the windows and back yards at all times of the night and day. Teenagers getting drunk on the weekends in the school yard, and children terrorizing the dogs in the neighborhood by cutting through your backyard and just a lack of respect for other people's property. The second house I purchased was in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. This was something I wanted to do for a long time so I had a house built from the ground up. 2500 square feet on 1 ½ acre of land. Put a pool in, a swing set for my grands, and thought this is it. Well guess what? The Poconos has turned into the 6th Borough of New York City, with the good, the bad and the criminal minded. People's family members started making it look like the movie "The Cookout" leaving a trail of trash coming and going.... Loud rap music you could hear blocks away with all the cursing. Kids playing in the street because they weren't used to having back yards and then not moving when you were driving home. No jobs for youth, teen pregnancy is up, no low income houses for the young, and children being left home alone because of the hours their parents are away from home. Single women complaining that there are very few single men. Marriages breaking up because husbands decided to have a place in NY rather than commute. Now many of the developments are mostly rental housing because the houses lost value and some people just up and moved and squatters moved in. I was very lucky, I sold my house before the housing bubble bust and even made a nice profit considering I only had it five years. A family from the Bronx bought it. The lesson I learned was to never move anywhere lots of New Yorkers' are going. You can find many small towns that you can move into that aren't on the New Yorker radar. You will see the difference.
So that brings me to renting...... I suggest that you rent in an area before you buy.....it will save you time and money in the long haul.. You can drive around and see if this is where you want to live, what hospital serves that area and how far it is from where you want to live. How people are keeping their homes, and what kind of community support there is for the elderly You can't depend on sales agent who need to make a living... Also you really need to check out the job market if you are going to need a job. In certain areas of Pennsylvania unions don't exist and $12.00 a hour is hard to get, no kidding...... Most people I know from New York in PA commute 4 hours or more a day to New York to earn a good income. I have also heard of people having trouble getting jobs in Florida and Atlanta where many New Yorkers have moved. This is not to say all, but many people who were making $30,000 - $60,000 in New York as hospital workers, janitors, hotel, administrative or clerical workers can't find jobs paying that much in other places. Plus I heard from some reliable sources that in some of these places they don't want to hire you or rent to you now if you are from New York.
Back to me renting. Where I live now was supposed to be temporary. I sold my house and closed in 5 weeks so I had to find a place fast. It was very depressing because I didn't think it was going to sell that fast. It was the way I had it decorated that sold it. The buyer was a little disappointed when he saw it empty and wanted to buy my furniture..... or have me decorate his house. All I wanted was the check.... At first I rented a house with an option to buy. Nice large townhouse of about 2,000 square feet, made similar to my house in the Poconos without all the land, but found out it had mold so bad I had to move. So I moved into this nice upgraded smaller two bedroom townhouse with 2 baths, a walk out patio with a beautiful lawn and no one living behind me in a senior friendly rental community (very few children). They use professional landscapers, shovel the snow, and cut the grass, do all the necessary repairs immediately . It has a nice pool with two lifeguards on duty at all times and a clubhouse. They will ask you to move if you, your children, or visitors are disruptive. It is located in a small town that even people I've met in Pennsylvania have never heard of. I had passed this rental community several times, but you could barely see it behind all the trees. I didn't know it was part of a town and when I researched it I found very little information. There is no community information to the general public and all community information is mailed to your home if you are registered at the post office which is required to get mail. It has been named one of the best 100 small towns to live in by Forbes Magazine. Very little crime, quiet, clean, close to all shopping, good schools, nice churches, and an award winning hospital. Every house or development has a beautiful lawn no matter how small because they will fine you if your grass grows over 6 inches. The fine is $350 dollars for each offense and if you don't cut it, they will and then put a lien on your house if you don't pay...The main reason I won't buy a house here is that most of the houses here are nice, lots of ranch houses, but they are older and would need costly upgrades to meet my standards after owning a new house, and newer houses cost too much for my budget ..... but I love the town, the shopping, the town square, my townhouse apartment and most of my neighbors. Will I ever buy another house?...... Not as my primary home because I am too picky and don't want to have to stay put because I own, but maybe I would consider a little ocean view vacation/winter condo, or maybe I will just buy a 25-30 foot boat with 2 bedrooms....... I think I like the boat idea best.....then I can move the boat to any marina of my choice.......