To Buy or to Rent? That is the question...

...and here are some answers...

It's almost always better to own your home rather than to rent. Right? After all, you build equity and get to write off your mortgage interest. And if you play your cards right, when you sell you'll be eligible for one of the best tax breaks available.

But that doesn't mean that everyone should be a homeowner. Ask someone in Florida whose house has been on the market for a year and is losing value every month...

If your move is short-term or if interest rates are high and property values deteriorating, it may be worthwhile to deal with a landlord for a while.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages if you are considering buying vs. renting.

- Property Builds Equity
- Free to change d├ęcor/ landscaping
- Not dependant on landlord for maintenance
- Tax Benefits for interest paid on your loan

- Responsible for Maintenance
- Property Taxes
- Possibility of Equity Loss
- Less “mobility” than renting

- Typically little or no responsibility for maintenance
- Easier to move; more “mobility”

- No Tax Benefits
- No Equity Build up
- No control over rent increases

My best advice is to talk with professionals about your situation. While I believe it is smart to talk with a Realtor, it is also approproate to talk with an accountant, a lawyer, and/or financial planner about your individual goals.