Is It Time to Make the Move from Renting to Owning?

Should you buy a home or rent? That’s a big question for many, and the Chicago Tribune recently ran an interesting feature story looking at the pros and cons of both options.

Today, though, buying a home is often more affordable than renting in many markets. Take Chicago. Depending on where you want to live, rents continue to rise. There are plenty of in-demand Chicago neighborhoods in which monthly apartment rents are more expensive than a monthly mortgage.

But there are other factors besides price when it comes to the decision to rent or buy. And that’s something the Tribune story explores.

For instance, when owning a home, you do lose some flexibility. When you rent, it’s easier to move. You simply wait to the end of your lease and look for a new place to live. When you own, you usually have to sell your condo or single-family home before you can make a move. Chicago is a seller’s market today, so it is possible to sell a residence in a short amount of time for a solid price. But even selling in a seller’s market takes time.

On the other hand, when you own a home, you don’t have to worry about rent hikes. If you take out a fixed-rate mortgage loan, your monthly payment can vary — it depends on whether the costs of your property taxes or insurance rise or fall — but the changes are usually smaller ones.

If you own, your home might increase in value, too. Then when you do want to sell, you might be able to make a nice profit that you can use to help buy a new home.

There are intangible benefits to owning home, too. It’s a place that is truly yours. A place to raise a family or grow a garden or even run a side business from.

You might not think you can afford to buy in Chicago. But you might be surprised at how much home you can afford given your current income. Meet with a mortgage loan officer today. This professional can look at your finances and help you determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford each month.