Where I live, it's either the same price to rent a place as it is to own, or it's even more. We have dogs also, so we need a house with a yard. Yes we could just rent a house, but we would rather own our place. Renting a house is also the same amount or more as owning where I live. I've actually looked at houses to rent, and they were usually a couple hundred more than my mortgage.
We don't plan on living in our current house forever (maybe 5-7 years altogether), but our next house we plan on living in for awhile. So the costs of not living in our first house for a long time are a little higher, but it still won't be that bad.
There also aren't very many good apartments where I live. A lot of my friends live in apartments, and they're either not safe or they're just disgusting. Of course there are nicer apartments, but they cost way more than what a house would cost. The only thing nice that would be about living in an apartment is all of the amenities that they offer. Spa, gyms, pools, and so on sound very nice.
One thing that people say sways them from owning is that they're afraid of maintenance costs. I don't think anything has broke in our house yet. If something did, we have a lot of people in the BF's family who would be able help us fix stuff. Maintenance costs don't really scare me though, and definitely wouldn't sway me from owning.
We also have really good neighbors. No one is loud and crazy. When you buy a house, I would say that you should check out the house and neighborhood during the day and also at night time. This will help you figure out how the neighborhood actually is.
The only thing that I regret about my decision is that I feel somewhat stuck since I bought a house at such an early age. Right now I'm not in the position to just pick up and leave and travel for an extensive time, mainly because I have a mortgage (and I like my job, and I know that I wouldn't be able to find something similar). If I didn't have a mortgage, then I would feel better about picking up and leaving because I wouldn't have such crazy fixed housing costs.
I also honestly just like having something that's mine (ok well it belongs to the bank since I have a mortgage), but it's nice to think that one day I will own it completely and will have significantly lowered my housing costs since all I will really have left is property taxes every month.
Here are some interesting articles that I found also, here (a buying vs. owning calculator) and here (another buying calculator), that you might want to check out. These can really help you decide what's right for you, because buying isn't for everyone of course.
Your turn: Buy or Rent?
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