The pros and cons of buying a house compared to renting

Buying your first house is an important milestone for many people, and an achievement they can’t wait to accomplish. However it’s also one of the largest financial commitments you’re likely to make, meaning that a house purchase is not a decision you should take lightly. Depending on your life circumstances, it might not be the right choice for you at this time. So to help you work out whether buying a property would be better for you personally than renting one, here is a quick overview of some of the main pros and cons of house ownership.

The advantages of owning your own home

There are plenty of advantages of owning your own home. Firstly, because the property belongs to you rather than a landlord, you are free to make any alterations or improvements to it that you want (as long as you get planning permission for substantial changes). You’re also free to have pets if you want them, which is a big factor for many people when making a decision to buy. If you’re renting, you have to ask permission before doing anything at all. Some landlords also don’t allow families with children to rent certain properties, which makes home ownership much more convenient if you have a family.

One of the biggest benefits to buying a home is that, once the mortgage is paid off, the property is yours – so you no longer have to worry about monthly payments for somewhere to live. This also means that if the value of your house goes up, you can potentially make a profit when you sell it. Another financial benefit is that monthly mortgage repayments are often cheaper than monthly rental payments, so your outgoings can be lower if you own your home. Plus when it comes to new build homes, schemes such as the UK government’s Help to Buy program make home ownership even more accessible to first-time buyers. 

The disadvantages of owning your own home

Let’s move on to the disadvantages. One of the biggest difficulties most people find with buying a house is that you need to put down a significant amount of money upfront as a deposit. With house prices soaring, this is simply unattainable for many (although schemes like the above-mentioned Help to Buy are changing this). The deposit is not the only financial consideration either. Any repairs that need to be done, such as a broken boiler or leaky roof, will be solely your responsibility – and these can quickly add up.

The other factor to think about is what happens when you want to move. It might not always be easy to sell your home (the condition of the property market at the time will affect this), and moving house is guaranteed to be a longer and more complicated process than it is when you’re renting. There’s also an added complication if you own the house with someone else and then split up, as deciding what to do with the property can be challenging.