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It’s always a unique decision when people start looking at buying vs renting a home in Northern Virginia. It can be a difficult decision, too. While this type of decision should never be taken lightly, for many, the goal is to become a first-time home buyer.
Before you decide to buy a home in Northern Virginia, you should consider the pros and cons of buying vs renting. It’s also important to compare the cost and look at the main differences.
What’s the Cost of Renting a Home Instead of Buying a Home in Northern Virginia?
The cost of buying vs renting a home is important to look at. If you rent a home that costs you $2,000 every month for the next five years, you will spend nearly $120K, depending on how your rent might go up every year.
If you were to buy a home and you had an estimated payment of $2,100 per month, you will spend $126,000 on your home. While this is more than the rent, there’s more to look at than just comparing these numbers next to each other.
Renting a home for five years with this example costs you $120K and you get nothing back. That money is gone and you can’t get it back.
When you buy a home and spend a similar amount on your mortgage payment (including home insurance and taxes), you will build up equity. You will likely have $30K to $40K worth of equity after five years, depending on how the value of your home changes.
While it might cost less from one month to another to rent, buying allows you to build equity. You can get some of your money back when you refinance your mortgage or sell your home. This isn’t possible with renting, so it certainly costs you more to rent a home compared to buying a home.
It’s important to do a full cost analysis when looking at buying vs renting a home. There are other things to factor in, such as maintenance on the home, renter’s vs homeowner’s insurance, and other costs.
Of course, when looking at buying vs renting a home in Northern Virginia, there’s more to consider than just the cost.
Pros & Cons of Buying a Home in Northern Virginia
- Ability to build equity in your home as you pay off your mortgage
- Full ability to customize your home to suit your needs and wants
- Provides the stability of knowing you will be staying in your home as long as you would like
- May offer some tax benefits
- Possibility of your home becoming worth more than you paid for it
- The value of your home value can go down over time
- Comes with extra expenses and work with home maintenance and repairs
- May limit your ability to invest your money in another way
- Possibility of your mortgage payment going up, if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage
- May require a large down payment to qualify to buy a home in Northern Virginia
Pros & Cons of Renting a Home in Northern Virginia
- No need to worry about home repairs or maintenance
- Shorter term and very flexible if you will be relocating in the next few years
- Might free up some income for other investment opportunities
- Predictable monthly payment
- No ability to build equity
- You won’t have any option to modify your rental home to fit your specific needs
- Not in control of the home and some uncertainty can come from having a landlord
- It’s also temporary and you may not be able to put roots down in your community
- Your rental payment may go up with every new lease agreement you sign
- The landlord might decide to sell the property
Main Differences Between Buying vs Renting a Home
Homeownership is often talked about as a way to build wealth, but the decision between buying vs renting a home in Northern Virginia is just about the money. While it’s a better investment compared to renting, it’s not just a money thing.
There are many key differences between buying vs renting a home. The way maintenance and repairs are handled is a huge difference. Renters also have no ability to change the property, while buyers do.
On the flip side of things, if you’re a renter and you have neighbors you cannot stand, you can move easier than someone that owns their home. There is also a larger time commitment with buying vs renting a home in Northern Virginia
Top Places to Buy a Home in Northern Virginia
An excellent choice when you decide between buying vs renting a home and you want to buy is Fairfax. This community offers a great location with plenty of amenities from restaurants to shopping to entertainment.
The location is very popular due to the two major airports found nearby. There are also plenty of homes for sale and many neighborhoods found throughout Fairfax with plenty to offer. If you’ve decided buying a home in Northern Virginia makes sense for you, check out the Fairfax homes for sale.
2. Orange Hunt Estates
A well-established community to consider, Orange Hunt Estates offers homes built in the 1970s. After deciding between buying vs renting a home, this might be one of the top places to call home. It’s a very popular place for younger families and for older residents.
You can find several different types of homes throughout Orange Hunt Estates. Most were built in the early 19780s and offer between 1,400 and 2,100 square feet of living space. It’s also possible to find a townhome to call home here.
If you want to call one of the Washington D.C. suburbs home, Springfield, VA is a great choice. This area of Northern Virginia offers plenty of homes for sale you can choose from. It’s a popular community for those looking to stop renting and buy a home in Northern Virginia.
After deciding between buying vs renting a home, you might want to look closer at homes for sale in Burke, VA. There are many great communities and it’s one of the more affordable choices found near Washington D.C. While it might be a bit more affordable, Burke is still a great location for many types of buyers.
If you’re planning to relocate to Northern Virginia and you want to buy a home, Burke might be the right place for you. This community offers townhome communities, as well for those with a tighter budget.
5. West Springfield
Known as a family-friendly place to call home in Northern Virginia, West Springfield offers a great option. When you decide between buying vs renting a home and you want to become a first-time homebuyer, this is a beautiful community to call home. It’s found around many natural areas including the Springfield Country Club and West Springfield Park.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying vs Renting a Home
Which is better buying vs renting a home?
The answer to this question depends on your specific situation. There is no one right answer to this question. It depends on your specific situation and you will need to look at the benefits and the costs for your specific situation.
Is it cheaper to rent a home compared to buying a home?
According to Axios.com, it’s cheaper to own a median-priced home than to rent the average three-bedroom property. This doesn’t even take into account the equity you can build up when you buy a home in Northern Virginia.
Is it worth it to own a home in Northern Virginia?
When you look at the comparison between buying vs renting a home, you might wonder if it’s worth it to own a home. This will depend on your situation, but most homeowners believe it’s worth it. According to Forbes.com, 57% of experts believe buying a home is a good investment, while another 38% believe it depends on your situation. Only 5% said it wasn’t a good investment.
Is there a specific age when I should buy a home?
While there is no ideal age and every situation is different, most commonly, people buy their first home between the age of 25 and 34. It’s also common for those entering retirement years to downsize into a smaller home. However, it’s never too late to become a homeowner.
Should I work with a real estate agent if I decide to buy a home in Northern Virginia?
After taking the time to look at buying vs renting a home, when you decide to buy, yes, you should work with a real estate agent. As a first-time homebuyer, it’s necessary to have an expert on your side. An experienced real estate agent will help you make the right decisions and give you the necessary information you need.
Your real estate agent not only negotiates on your behalf but will also help make sure the transaction goes smoothly. There’s a lot of paperwork and quite a few things to deal with when buying a home. With a good local real estate agent, you’ll have less to worry about.
When you’re ready to compare buying vs renting a home in Northern Virginia, make sure you look at all the different options. Compare the pros and cons and look at your specific situation. If you’re financially ready to become a first-time homebuyer, your next step is hiring the right real estate agent in Northern Virginia.