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Should I keep Renting?


Stop Being A Guest In Your Own Home

Brad Allen

After becoming a Realtor®, I quickly teamed up with my now partner, Mary Lane Sloan, to form The ART of Real Estate with the idea that one agent cann...

After becoming a Realtor®, I quickly teamed up with my now partner, Mary Lane Sloan, to form The ART of Real Estate with the idea that one agent cann...

Nov 18 5 minutes read

When it clicked!

So it happened to me in January 2007. I was a year removed from college and I was just starting as a REALTOR, trying to grow my business, and working at a restaurant at night to supplement my income till my real estate business took off. Every month on the first, I would write a sizable check of $1,200 to my landlord and I would tear up like it was my dog running away down the street.  I hated that feeling. Until that January, renting made sense, but not after then. Here’s why…

I wasn’t leaving anytime soon.

I knew I was going to be in Columbia for the foreseeable future. In my mind as long as it was over 2 years I was ok with it. {How long should you live in your home?} So I figured what better way to tell my parents I was finally an adult than to buy a home (side note: I’m still not real sure if I am a full fledged adult some days).

I was wasting money.

I found out that I was paying more in rent than I was if I owned it and had a mortgage. That’s not some REALTOR bullshit answer either and here’s a real life example: I own a home in downtown Columbia. The county estimates my home to to be worth $203,000. If I were to live in this house I would have a payment (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) at $1,082.48. Since I don’t live there my mortgage would be $1,458.93. Now do you think as a landlord, I am just eating the extra expense? No of course not, I am passing it along to my tenants and charging them $1,800 per month. That is an $800 dollar difference per month on what they could be paying to what they are.

I didn’t want to wait on the Landlord to fix things.

While I was renting a brand new house, literally the first occupants, our home flooded because a water line to the sink wasn’t installed correctly. It took my landlord 3 months to get it all sorted out, and in the mean time we were in the dark as to what was going on to house I called home. It sucked.

“But can’t maintenance be expensive?”

To be honest one of the major objections we get from people who are content with renting is, I don’t have to pay for maintenance. I hear ya. Most people use a rule of $1 per square foot per year for maintenance. So for instance you buy a 1,600 sqft home, you’re looking at $1,600 per year for maintenance. In using my example above with the difference between owning and buying, you’d have around $9,600 to use for maintenance, so I think you’re covered. 

I could get a roommate and really save some money.

When I bought my house, I wasn’t really making a ton of money and the thought of being solely responsible for a mortgage payment was daunting, so I got a roomate. Not only did they split some of the payment, they also split the utilities, which I was going to have to pay whether I owned a home or not.

I need tax deductions.

Now that I was off my parents “books” I was on my own when it came to taxes and everything else. So when I had to pay taxes, yep not get a refund, I was quickly searching for ways to reduce it for the next year. The mortgage interest deduction I would get from owning my own home. So that was a positive for sure.

I hate moving.

Ugh, I really dislike moving. And who was to say the landlord wouldn’t try to increase my rent to a level that made me want to move. I wanted to know where I was going to lay my head at night and not always worry about moving. I know this can be a negative to some people who like to move to different areas, or new homes, but for me stability helps me be productive.

Update and Upgrade.

There were plenty of things that I wanted to do to my rental homes that would make it feel more like home, but of course I wouldn’t because I wasn’t about to spend money on someone else's home. So I didn’t, and had to live in the bland white/gray/vanilla home for years.

My story is my story, and those items above made sense for me. What I find to be true, is most people will rent based on comfort and not having to commit to one thing, and I get it, but when they are ready to commit sometimes they are 7 years late to the party and could have been saving a ton of money and building wealth.

 So here comes the sales pitch, if you have an open mind to buying a home, I would like to meet with you and help you weigh the good and the bad. I will make one promise, if renting is your best option, I will say it, because sometimes it is. But I think it is always best to make sure, rather than assuming so. So fill out the form below so Vanessa can get you scheduled, and heck we’ll even buy you a coffee or beer while we figure it out! 

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