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Category Archives: Buying and Selling

Renting vs. Owning: Which is Best for You?

Renting vs. Owning: Which is Best for You?

There are plenty of living options out there—apartments, townhomes, houses, etc. But should you be renting your living space or is it time to put money down for a house? There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you make your decision.

How’s your bank account?

Down payments on houses are usually between 5 and 20 percent of the home’s value. That means if you’re buying a $250,000 house, you need to have $12,000 to $50,000 ready to go at signing.

Don’t get too put off by high prices, though. Some monthly mortgages are lower than monthly rent prices, meaning you’ll have more in your bank account each month.

You’ll also want an emergency fund so you don’t default on your mortgage, granted you’d want this if you’re renting too.

Have a good cushion in your bank? Buy a home.

A little short on cash? Stick to renting for now.

Staying put or eager to move around?

Are you at a job you can see yourself at for years down the line? Then you may want to consider buying a home.

If you’re going to be living in the same area for a while, you might as well put your rent money towards your mortgage. The same goes for if you’re near the friends and family that you want to live close to for a long time.

Renting is good for when you’re not sure if you’re comfortable in your city or a change in your career may have you moving across the state or country. Leases are relatively easy to get out of while selling a home could take months or longer.

Sticking around? Get a house.

Not sure where you’ll end up? Rent.

Rolling up your sleeves or putting up your feet?

If you’re big on mowing, shoveling and home repairs (or at least paying for them), then a house is for you. There’s no landlord that will come by with a toolbox or snow shovel when you need it.

Luckily, housework tips and how-tos can be found everywhere on the internet. Faucet leaking? YouTube can help. Need to clean your furnace’s flame sensor? Google is your friend. And when all else fails, there are always repair people and landscapers that can help.

There are also neighborhood associations that will charge each homeowner and collectively hire people to shovel and mow. This is a good idea for you if you want a home but don’t have the time or ability to do some of the work that goes along with it.

If you’re not too keen on manual labor, renting can give you a little more freedom on the weekends. Most (if not all) repairs and yard work are taken care of by the landlord.

Eagar to throw on some work gloves? Buy a house.

Don’t want to get your hands dirty? You should rent.

Love to host or be the guest?

Are you a party animal or usually have a lot of family show up on holidays? Houses can give you more space, more privacy and more freedom for loud voices and booming music.

If you rarely host large get-togethers or don’t need to practice your drum set at 10pm, renting is a safe bet. Neighbors won’t get upset and you also don’t need to worry about buzzing everyone up to your unit.

Throwing parties? House.

Hushed guests? Rent.

Want some extra security?

Apartment buildings often have multiple locked doors to keep strangers out, security cameras that deter thieves, and more eyes from neighbors to see who’s walking through your hallways.

In a home, there are fewer people watching out for you. Though we’re currently seeing a boom in home security systems that are less costly and easier to install than before. You can even buy a video doorbell to see who’s knocking whether you’re in your bedroom or in another country.

Able to buy a security system? You’re ready for a home.

Want a few more eyes watching out for you? Renting is your answer.

The Case for Hiring a Local Real Estate Professional

The Case for Hiring a Local Real Estate Professional

(By: Comfort Home Inspections owner Keith Hoaglund)

It doesn’t matter what the current market conditions are—buyer’s market, seller’s market, etc. Whatever the case, you are missing out on some huge benefits if you attempt to buy or sell real estate without the help of a local licensed real estate professional.

Here is a small sample of what a real estate agent can do for you:

1. Properly preparing your house for sale.

A great agent will meet with you prior to marketing your home, perform a walkthrough and discuss which improvements or repairs will increase your return.

Some repairs that you may initially feel are necessary may not translate to increased value. For instance, if your furnace is 15 years old but working fine, replacing it prior to selling may not be wise. You may instead wish to direct those dollars towards the kitchen.

Skilled agents are in tune with local and current decorating trends along with common traits of the hottest properties and will help you make wise decisions prior to getting to market. A pre-listing home inspection is also a great idea to get ahead of any possible issues that can come up.

2. Pricing your home properly.

A professional agent will always conduct a comparative market analysis using the most current and applicable data, thereby determining an accurate price for your property.

Remember, the price of your home is not determined by Zillow, what your uncle Fred said his neighbor’s house brought, nor by how much you have spent on it. Only a professional licensed real estate agent can properly determine an accurate price based on all the real-world local factors that will get your home sold right away.

3. Marketing!

Real estate agents are professional home marketers and they know where to find the right buyers for your property. They have buyers calling every day. Do you?

4. Managing the offers.

In the current market conditions, multiple offers are common. How do you know which offer is better? Is the highest one the best? What if it has multiple contingencies? What if it has FHA financing?

Your realtor knows how to sort these out and help you realize which offer to pursue and which ones to pass on. Your realtor has your best interest in mind.

5. Paperwork.

Once you have an agreed upon offer, there is a pile of paperwork to complete. This is all extremely important and must be handled correctly to reduce your future liability. Your realtor does this every day and knows how to protect you.

6. It’s not so easy.

It may look easy, but that’s because your agent is skilled and experienced in the process. Flying a plane looks easy too, but you won’t catch me trying to do it to save a couple bucks. I would rather land safely while sitting comfortably, enjoying snacks.


Now that you have your house sold, it’s time to buy your new dream home. The agent who helped you sell yours will be the best resource you could ask for when picking your next place! Don’t forget to hire a skilled home inspector as part of the process.