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Should You Buy a Home or Rent an Apartment?

According to recent census estimates over 100 million Americans live in rental houses and about 65 million others own their own homes – with “ownership” including all of those who are still paying off their mortgages. Finally, close to one-third of all Americans live in rental apartments(Note:  These government and private industry statistics vary by about two or three percentage points).                                                                                                                                   As for whether or not you should try to buy a home or just rent an apartment, it nearly always comes down to personal preferences and your current earnings and credit score. Most people still want to pursue the “American dream” of owning a home. However, countless individuals lost their houses during the recent “economic bubble” – when far too many questionable mortgages were created for people who truly didn’t understand that they couldn’t afford them.                                                                                                                                     Should you be currently qualified for a low-interest mortgage, meet with your financial planner and see if this choice is the wisest one, in view of all of your current debts.                     Before making a final decision, look over the following list of factors that often cause many people to keep renting an apartment until their finances improve a bit more.

Reasons Why Many People Often Opt to Stay in Rental Apartments

  • Building/apartment repair issues. Once you’re a homeowner, when your plumbing goes out in the middle of the night, you’ll need to stand in line with hundreds of others before a good one can make it to your place. Furthermore, the fees you’ll have to pay can be very expensive. In contrast, should your apartment suffer flooding during a terrible weather crisis, the owner of the property has a legal duty to make repairs for you as soon as possible – all at the property owner’s personal expense;
  • Facts related to your current job stability and income – as well as that of your spouse. If one or both of you may soon need to relocate, give serious thought to whether it’s in your combined best interest (or your own interest if you’re single) to just wait until after your next job relocation. Even if your current (or new) employer is offering to cover most or all of your moving expenses, it’s still a major burden to have to sell a home before leaving town;
  • The extent of your current monthly credit card debts (and other outstanding loans). Be sure to review what you still owe on your student loans, monthly credit card debts and auto loan. Until you’ve greatly minimized these, you really should try to avoid buying a home – or even trying to rent one (unless you have children and their needs for the added space make this the wisest decision for everyone);
  • Do you need to currently travel frequently for your job? Many younger people without children often have to travel for their jobs. It’s often wise to wait and buy a home when you’ll have the chance to actually spend a lot of regular time in it.

Before buying a home, be sure to seek out objective advice from friends and family members, as well as trained professionals. You may also want to make use of The New York Times’Buy-Rent Calculator” which can help prospective homeowners more carefully evaluate all of the plusses and minuses tied to buying a home or renting an apartment.

If you believe that you’re a victim of any abusive debt collection practices, contact the Law Offices of Georgia consumer protection attorney Shane Smith so that you can learn more about your rights under federal and state consumer protection statutes. Call (770) 487-8999 today to schedule your free initial consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia