Should you rent or buy?

Author : teriann

The shortage of affordable housing in Kingston has led many persons to worry that they won’t be able to find a home of their own.

Often they settle for renting as they can’t afford to buy their own homes due to the ever rising cost of living.

You might wonder if the government housing programme is not sufficient to give working Jamaicans the ability to own their own home.

Well the truth is that although the programme provided by the government offers some options, it depends on the location of the home.

In real estate the byline is always,”Location, Location, Location!” This means if a potential homeowner chooses to buy in a prefered area in the city then the price climbs sky high.  Not to mention the added burden of finding hefty deposits and closing costs.

So what is the downside of renting?

Anyone who has rented property can relate stories about demanding landlords, lack of privacy and the inconvenience of shared facilities.

The worst part about renting property is that after the time, money and effort you put into your home can easily be taken away because of someone else’s decisions.

In my humble opinion, it is much better to own your own home than pay twice that amount for rent.

Although it might seem a daunting task, I think that the first thing a prospective home owner needs to do is decide to be proactive and do their own research.  It pays to investigate the current cost of homes in the area in which you want to live. Another move in the right direction is to check the various mortgage companies to see which ones offer the best options for your situation.

Most mortgage companies also offer combined mortgages with government housing programmes which will reduce your monthly repayment.

So will you rent or buy?

Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online Writer

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3 Responses to “Should you rent or buy?”

  1. Pete says:

    Terri Ann, I beg to disagree as a long term renter! Owning is more of a security, an investment, which is more important if youre married, with children. Owning has its own costs- property taxes, maintenance, insurance. Disposing of a house, or transferring title, is also not that easy. Its also costly. Renting, offer a lot of benefits. Firstly, what you see is what you get. You pay to live there, youre not exactly throwing away money, since it would cost you much more in the long run, buying a house, maintaining it, insuring it. When youre renting, youre also more mobile, free to move on, quickly, without much hassle, especially if you find the wrong neighbours moving in. Its less easy to do when you own. While renting, its easier to budget, and save, since costs are more predictable, and your savings become your security in the long term, rather than a concrete building. All in all its an individuals choice, but as a single man, who has been renting for years, I can truely say renting has its benefits based on ones situation. Renting is also less of a burden & stress if one is ever laid off or loose ones income suddenly for a period, its easier to plan what next. These same principles could be argued, whether you choose a condo/appartment..or a house. There is no set rule for benefit/costs, and one has to assess their own situation and decide whats best for them, at that time, at that period without giving into any pressure.

  2. Kay says:

    I would prefer purchasing a house over renting because when you are renting, you are basically making someone else’s mortgage payment so you end up spending all your money funding someone else’s investment. Also, renting puts you at the whim of your landlord and they can choose to get rid of their property or you at any time. I know of a case where someone rented a house and fixed it up nicely. When the landlord saw how nice the place was, he decided that the amount that the person was paying wasn’t enough so he gave the person notice and kicked them out so that he could rent it to someone else at a higher amount. Despite the existence NHT and mortgage companies, a lot of Jamaicans still cannot afford to purchase a house so renting is the only option for them.

  3. teriann says:

    Good point Pete, renting is a good option for those who are interested in being mobile but families with children might want more stability. Also add up how much rent you have paid over the years you might have been able to buy a house! Each option has its advantages.

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