Law School

When it Makes Sense to Rent vs. Buy Your Own Property

when it makes sense to rent vs. buy

You’re probably contemplating on when it makes sense to rent vs. buy your own property. Perhaps, you’ve struggled enough with straining commutes in the last few years of your law school life. And you’re now looking into getting your own space near your university.

Don’t worry, I feel your sentiments. I know for a fact that law students have to deal with so many workloads every single day.

Indeed, deciding when it makes sense to rent vs. buy a home can be scary at first. On that note, allow me to help you to think through your decision.

Things That Will Help You Know When It Makes Sense to Rent vs. Buy Your Own Property

Deciding on when it makes sense to rent vs. buy your own flat or home is a matter that can be scary and difficult. There are things you have to carefully consider. Let me share with you some of the issues I had to deal with back then that helped me achieve my goal realistically.

Here they are:

In knowing when it makes sense to rent vs. buy your own property, ask yourself this: do you have the financial capability to do so?

Every law student who contemplates on when it makes sense to rent vs. buy his own space should know that buying and renting a living area are two different options with different degrees of commitment and consequences. Consequently, buying your own home will require you to deal with certain considerations, obligations, and requirements that you may not otherwise encounter or experience should you decide to rent instead.

Challenges of buying your own flat or living space

Buying your flat or space entails more financial investment and commitment.

After spotting the real estate you like, you’ll first need to make an offer for it. Then, a surveyor will have to take a look at the flat or space you’ve chosen, because he or she will have to determine the actual value of the property. Next, after fixing all the needed legal and paperwork for it, a solicitor or conveyancer might ask you for a deposit, which is usually ten percent (10%) of their fee.

As you go through the process, you’ll undergo valuation and property survey, as these will enable you to know if the flat or property you intend to buy is worth every buck that you’re going to pay for it. Also, these surveys will also allow you to discover if the property will require repairs and other works that can affect or lower its price. It will also let you know if purchase price renegotiation is feasible before finalizing the sale.

Thereafter, you’ll be required to file an application for mortgage over the property you’ve chosen. Then, you’ll have to wait for the grant of such application. Oftentimes, buyers find this phase stressful because there’s always a possibility that a mortgage application might be rejected for due causes. As such, it is important to check if you have a good credit score to ensure the grant of your application.

By the way, a mortgage may sound “big” and “intimidating”, but know that there are reliable online resources that can help you calculate your mortgage payments. They can help you compute the exact equivalent in money of the percentages reflected in the mortgage agreements you’re about to execute.

Renting an apartment or bedspace

Generally, renting a space of your own will entail fewer and less cumbersome obligations. For instance, when you rent an apartment, unit, or space, utmost, you’d be expected to pay certain costs. They may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Taxes (e.g. council tax);
  • Rental fees;
  • Insurance costs; and
  • Other dues – depending on your agreement with your landlord (e.g. internet bills, television license, including gas, water, and electricity charges)

However, we can say that these obligations are nowhere comparable to the rigors you have to undergo as a prospective home or property owner.

Oftentimes, renting out a home or space is something law students resort to when they still don’t have the budget to own their own flat. And this is actually quite understandable. At the end of the day, one shouldn’t live a life he or she cannot afford.

Are you ready and stable enough to be a property owner?

Now, let’s say you have all the means to buy yourself a property or flat. Does this mean you should buy the most attractive condo or space near your law school right away?

Not so fast.

Buying or investing on a real property is no joke, my dear law student. Hence, you really have to give this some careful thought.

Questions to ask:

If you contemplate on buying your own home versus renting out a space, here are some questions you have to ask yourself first and foremost:

  • Am I financially stable to pay taxes and other homeownership costs?
  • Will I be able to pay any mortgage taken out on the property upon purchase?
  • Can I count on my income sources for home maintenance and/or repair expenses?
  • Do I have the money to furnish a new home with furniture and other appliances I’d need on a daily basis?
  • Will I be staying in a specific location for a long period of time, making my investment on a house or real property worth it?

A reading of the abovementioned questions will make you realize that everything — again — boils down to one’s financial capacity. This means, as you consider when it makes sense to rent vs.  buy a living space, you’ll have to know how much you’re willing and, more so, capable of paying for different costs and dues.

For instance, homeownership costs include different types of expenses that you might be required to pay yearly or otherwise. They include property taxes, utilities expenses, escrow fees, mortgage interest payments, and the like.

With all these in mind, you may want to rent out instead if you see that your resources cannot cover any of these expenditures. I mean, it’s good to be ambitious, yet we have to be realistic, right?

Do you really need to own a flat or home in the first place?

Is owning your a property a necessity on your part? Or, is it but a mere want or luxury?

Even though you might be ready to buy your own home or space, it pays to be judicious in making your decision. As things are quite unpredictable these days, it would be best to conserve your financial resources as much as you could. Hence, you really have to ascertain if owning a living space is a necessity on your part.

Questions to ask yourself:

If you’re on the edge as to whether owning a property is a better option for you than renting out, again, I have here some questions to ask yourself:

  • Will my law studies fall apart if I don’t buy my own flat or space?
  • Is owning a living space the ONLY alternative I have in the next few years of my law studies?

I hate to be repetitive, but I’d like you to really contemplate on the things thus far discussed here. Try asking yourself the questions I mentioned. I’m sure they’ll help you re-examine your options and re-calibrate your plans.

Are you ready to revert to pre-pandemic status?

The slow reversion of pre-pandemic activities in your area or country is something you’ll also have to contemplate on.

As the world is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, commerce and other economic activities are likewise resuming. As such, expect your law schools to require your attendance in classes and events. Consequently, you’ll have to commute or travel once again.

If you see that finishing your law degree would be easier with you relocating, then, by all means do it. Next, explore your readiness and financial capability. This will enable you to know if buying a property really is for you. At the end of the day, it is your law school life in the years ahead we’re talking about here. So, you got to be really sure with your decision in weighing your options.

Think things over. Don’t rush things.

My experience

My law school’s and workplace’s proximity had always been my issue. I had to endure a more or less a 3-hour drive from Rizal to Metro Manila. It was pretty much a struggle during those days.

My daily commute used to be so stressful. Moreover, it decreased the number of hours I could have spent for my law school readings and assignments. These made it difficult for me to juggle my law studies and job as a public servant. Thus, there I was left with no other good option but to relocate in Manila.

However, know that I opted to rent instead of buying my own space, condo, or flat.

Buying my own space wasn’t an option for me in the past. This is so because I knew that I’d be returning in our hometown after finishing my law degree. Furthermore, I didn’t have the financial capacity to own a home back then. My previous jobs wasn’t paying me that much. So, buying a property just didn’t make sense.

Share this article with a fellow law student who might need it

So, there you go. I hope you were able to learn a thing or two. May this blog post (or short guide) help you in your quest in finding the right option that will make your law school life in the years ahead more convenient and meaningful.

If you find this useful, please feel free to share this article with your law student peeps. Who knows? They might need to know the pointers and insights I tackled here.

Talk to you soon!

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