How do we know if it’s better for us to keep renting or to buy?
You need to ask yourself these questions, and be honest with yourself. Do you generally know where you’re going to be in five years, or is it all up in the air? Do you have any dirty secrets lurking in your credit history that you may want to clear up before buying? If you eventually want kids, will there be enough space? Are you willing to give up some financial freedoms (big-ticket items, vacations) in order to pay a mortgage? Buying a property is more than just calculations; it's a huge commitment that requires sorting out your priorities.
That said, the raw numbers do count. You need to take an honest look at your income and assets, plus your current spending habits. Then you can use a handy online mortgage calculator, like the ones at Bankrate.com, to see how much you could afford as a down payment and how much you can comfortably pay for a monthly mortgage. You have to consider that you’ll need to pay taxes, insurance, and a monthly maintenance fee if you’re buying an apartment.
The next step is to check home prices in your area. In high-rent cities, you might be surprised to find that buying a home actually works out to be cheaper each month than renting. Every couple faces the question of whether to rent or buy differently; you need to take a step back, think about your situation and what you can afford, and go from there.
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