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To Rent or To Buy: That is the Question

To Rent or To Buy: That is the Question

It’s a question that has been asked numerous times over the years, and one that will always be asked.

Should you rent, or should you buy?

Well, luckily we have created this guide to point you in the right direction in your search for property.

If you’re looking for homes in the Letchworth Garden City, Baldock and Hitchin area, then Leysbrook Estate Agents can help you.

But more on us later.

For now, let’s answer this question once and for all.


Buying a house isn’t easy.

There are many things required to purchase a property, such as savings, and financial stability.

There’s a reason only around a third of people aged between 25 and 34 own their own home.

So, with that in mind, when should you be looking to buy, instead of rent.

When to Buy a Property

The perfect time to buy a property is when you know you can afford it.

It’s as simple as that.

This doesn’t just mean you can afford monthly mortgage payments though; this means that large figures such as solicitors fees and house deposits won’t leave too much of a gap as they leave your bank account.

The average house price in London is above £600,000, so with a 10% deposit, that’s more than £60,000 you’re paying as a deposit.

House buying isn’t done on a whim, and it requires years of saving in most cases until you can afford to take the plunge and climb onto the property ladder.

So if you have an inkling that you may want to purchase a home in the next few years, get saving now and by the time the urge to own comes around again, you may be in the perfect position to buy.

And this does come with plenty of advantages.

Advantages of Buying

You Can Do What You Like

When you buy a home, more often than not you will find an empty shell.

There’s no furniture or decorations, and the house is a blank canvas for you to do as you please.

Want to paint the bedroom bright pink? There’s no-one to stop you (apart from your partner perhaps).

Want to knock a wall through and go open-plan? This can be arranged.

You don’t have to ask a landlord to make changes and fear them saying no.

You own the property, and what you do to it is up to you.

It is an Investment

In most cases, people need a mortgage to buy a home.

This can feel expensive at times with sometimes large monthly payments, but what you must understand is that with each payment, you are building equity that can be reinvested.

More often than not, a house price will increase over time, especially if you are doing work such as adding an extension or modernising a kitchen (this can add up to £20,000 in some cases!).

This means that if the time comes to sell the house, you may find you get back more than you put in.

And of course, once the mortgage is paid off, the house is yours, and that’s a large sum of money to have when the time comes to move on.

It Provides Security

Owning a house means you can really turn it into a home.

With renting, there is always the fear the landlord may ask you to leave. Maybe they want to move back in? Or they want to make some money by selling the property.

If you own, the property is yours, and whether you want to live in it for five of fifty years, you’re free to do so.

Also, your monthly payments are steady, especially if you have a fixed-rate mortgage.

There are no surprising letters through the door saying your rent is going up when you buy a home.

Disadvantages of Buying

But buying a property does come with some downsides. Let’s take a look.

It’s a Big Outlay

As mentioned earlier, if you are looking to buy, it can be years before you find yourself in the right financial situation to do so.

It can be tough for people who are desperate to buy but simply can’t afford it.

Buying a house costs a lot of money.

There’s not just the price of the deposit, but also the fees you pay when moving, which ranges from survey reports to removal vans.

There’s a reason less and less young people own property now, and it’s not that they don’t want to.

They simply can’t afford to.

It Can Take a Long Time to Move On

Moving out of a home can take a long time.

If you are someone who often acts quicky, and wants the flexibility to not be tied down and be free to move at speed, then buying a home may not be the choice for you.

Selling a house doesn’t just depend on how nice the house is, it depends on if you choose the right estate agent, or if the market is hot or cold.

If a few of these factors don’t fall in your favour then you may find you’re waiting a long time to sell your home and get the chance to move, which isn’t ideal for someone who may have to relocate a lot or someone who doesn’t like to be tied down in one place.

The Repairs Come Out of Your Wallet

Another issue with owning a house is sometimes things go wrong.

Boilers broken? You can expect to fork out over £1000 for a new one.

Structural damage, broken pipes, faulty electrics, all these are problems that can occur, especially when renovating a house you have just bought, so these can be costly.

Damage to a house can happen at any time. Whether it be caused by bad weather or natural disasters.

Of course, home insurance is a must, but this doesn’t cover everything, and more often than not you have to fork out to fix any problems that do arise.

So Should You Buy?


But only in the right circumstances.

If you have the money and are in a stable financial condition with a bit of money put away in case you need to fork out for some repairs, then getting on the property ladder is a great way of getting something that is your own and that will provide security and, more importantly, a place you can call home for many years.

If you are a first time buyer, it helps to be in the know when it comes to moving, so why not check out these handy tips.

When to Rent a Property

So, what about the alternative?

Renting is often seen as a cheaper way of living. But is that the case?

The average rent in London is over £1500 per month, so this is a huge outlay to many young people looking to start living in a rented property.

But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it!

Renting comes packed with benefits for everyone.

Let’s take a look.

Advantages of Renting

It Provides Flexibility

Buying a house can be tying.

That is why many people who are constantly on the move and don’t know where they need to be from one year to the next enjoy the idea of renting.

You can move into a place within a month, and move out in a similar time frame, making it easy to switch from home to home and city to city.

It’s this flexibility that is often a deciding factor for tenants.

If you’re moving to a new city, you may not yet be sure of the area you want to live, or how long you want to stay.

Buying a property could then be seen as a huge risk as you could be stuck in a long-term mortgage and struggle to move quickly.

Renting is the opposite of this and can provide you with plenty of freedom to come and go as you please.

Less of an Immediate Outlay

If you’re living somewhere and you’re desperate to move, the idea of renting can be very appealing.

You don’t have to spend years saving for a large deposit or even have to fork out for solicitor’s fees and survey reports.

A lot of rentals only need a small deposit payment and you’re in, making this a great option for people who want to get into a place quickly.

When you’re there, some rentals come fully furnished, which further reduces the need for immediate spending.

There’s a certain standard to a rental that you don’t always achieve when buying a property.

A rental should be move-in ready, and if you can cut down on what you have to spend to make it your own, then that’s a big chunk of money you’re saving.

Less Worries About Maintenance

Oh no! You’ve come home from work and the dishwasher has broken and has leaked all over the kitchen floor.

If this was supplied by the landlord, then luckily for you the money doesn’t have to come out of your wallet.

Roof tiles blown off in a gale? This is another thing that could be costly to fix, but not if you’re renting, as these structural repairs should be handled by the landlord.

A landlord should be responsible for the general upkeep of a property, meaning that if things are starting to break, or electrical items are old and becoming faulty, these should be replaced by them and not you.

This can be a big weight off someone’s mind if they are renting but don’t have a lot in savings so couldn’t afford to fix a broken boiler for example.

Disadvantages of Renting

Renting does come with some disadvantages as well though, including these:

Lack of Control

At the end of the day, you are living in a property that is owned by someone else.

You may love the property and it could be your dream home, but if at some point the owner decides he would like you to move out, there is nothing you can do but find somewhere else to go.

This doesn’t always happen, and some owners build life-long relationships with their tenants, but the owner will always have control.

The landlord can decide on rental prices and change them at a month’s notice.

Also, with renting, you may not be able to make structural or design changes you would like to make to really make the property feel like a home.

If the landlord decides he wants to sell and you have to move out, whether you’ve been living there two months or twenty years, unfortunately there’s nothing you can do but move.

You’re Bound to a Contract

When signing up to rent a property, you will sign a contract with the landlord.

This will include rules that you are bound to throughout the term noted in the contract.

These can involve no pets, no smoking, it can even state that a garden must be kept well maintained.

As a tenant, if you have signed the contract then you have agreed to stick to these rules, and any failing to do so may result in your tenancy being ended.

Again, this is about a lack of control.

A landlord can write in any rules they would like (to an extent) so it is vital you read the contract fully before signing and if you don’t agree with, or think you can stick to, any of the rules mentioned then it is always best practice to look to rent elsewhere.

You’re Not Building Equity

As we hit upon earlier, renting can be expensive.

If you’re spending a large amount of money every month to live in a property, you would like to see something back.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with renting.

While the house may be building equity and the value may be rising, it is the property owner who will feel the financial benefit of this, and not you.

The money you are spending on rent is providing you with a place to live, which is great, but is in no way an investment.

So Should you Rent?

Again, yes!

As long as you are in the perfect position to do so.

Renting is a great option for someone who needs something quickly and may not want to hang around for too long.

You’re not tied down to anything that you can’t get out of with a month’s notice and although you are losing control, you may find this is a good thing sometimes.

While not an investment, for someone who is looking to not spend a huge amount in the here and now, renting is the perfect option.

Leysbrook Estate Agents

We hope this has helped you decide on your next step.

Both come with downsides, but both are also packed with benefits.

Moving into a new home is exciting and should be as stress-free as possible, so making the right choice of whether to rent or buy is really important.

If you would like a chat with one of our team, or you’ve made up you mind on whether you will buy or rent a property, Leysbrook are always here to help.

Get in touch today and let us find you your new home.

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