Buy or Rent

Tenants in the UK Today: Should You Buy a House or Just Keep Renting?

It’s a question many of us face at one point or another. Should you continue to rent, or should you invest in your own property? This is not always a straightforward issue, so here are some of the pros and cons to consider for both options.

Can You Afford to Buy a Property?

The first thing you need to decide is whether you can afford to buy a property, because if not, you will only have the option of renting.

This will involve looking at your finances and working out whether you can afford a deposit, the legal fees involved in moving, moving costs, surveying costs, and everything else that goes into it.

If you decide you can afford your own place, you will want to find out about getting a mortgage. If you cannot get a mortgage for some reason, you will probably have to keep on renting for now.

Buying a Property: Pros and Cons

If you find that you can afford to buy a property, you should still weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. The main benefits of buying a property include:

  • You have more freedom to improve your home;
  • You could see your property go up in value, and you could use the equity for your retirement;
  • You will have your own home once you have paid off your mortgage, so you won’t have to pay rent;
  • Sometimes mortgage payments can be less than paying rent each month.

However, there are a few potential cons of buying, including:

  • Your mortgage repayments will go up with interest rates;
  • It is a large financial commitment, and the expenses involved can be big, including costs like stamp duty and hiring a solicitor like Slater and Gordon;
  • You will have to pay for maintenance costs;
  • The value of your home could go down, making it harder to sell.

Renting a Property: Pros and Cons

Renting a property is very common, and it may or may be the right option for you. Some of the benefits of renting include:

  • You will enjoy greater flexibility to move home, making it ideal if you are only planning to stay for a short amount of time;
  • You do not have to pay for maintenance, repairs and sometimes furniture;
  • Your rent is the same each month, compared to mortgage payments that can fluctuate, making it easier to budget;
  • You do not have to pay buildings insurance;
  • The initial expense of moving to a rental property is lower than that of buying a property.

Some of the possible downsides to renting include:

  • You are paying money each month that is not going towards paying off a mortgage;
  • You will not have your own property to enjoy later on in life;
  • Your landlord has more control over the situation, and they may decide not to renew the contract;
  • You cannot decorate the property and make the changes that you want;
  • Your monthly rent may work out as more expensive than a mortgage.

Carefully Consider Your Situation

These are some of the main pros and cons of buying and renting a property. However, you have to look closely at your own situation to work out what is best for you. Both options can be more suitable depending on your situation, so sum up the benefits of each and decide which is the best option for you right now. And remember, just because renting may be the most suitable option now, this may change in a year or two.

Samuel Davidson has worked as an estate agent for several years. Playing the property game himself, he enjoys writing property related articles in his spare time.

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2 Responses to Tenants in the UK Today: Should You Buy a House or Just Keep Renting?

  1. Karl says:

    I think if you can afford to buy, now is a great time. I recently bought a house with a 10 year fixed mortgage at just 3.14%. The monthly payments are about a third less than the rent I was paying.

  2. We’ve lived in London for a while now and keep renting. We live close to central London (Big Ben is within walking distance) in the area we won’t have a chance to buy anything. I’m not sure I want to stay in London now that we have a baby, so we are keeping our options open. We don’t mind renting, although over time we’d love to buy a house.
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