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Rent vs. Buy? – Depends on the Person Not The Math

Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

In a conversation last night I talked with a friend who was working through the rent-buy decision. Their final decision, at least for now – rent. Why? They just do not like the risk of buying. What if I lose my job? What if housing stays flat? What if, what if?

CNN Money reported last week “It’s the eternal question in real estate: Should I buy or rent? The answer has never been clearer: Buy.” The article goes on to talk about the math, affordability, relative rent vs mortgage rates – all good stuff. But I think personal factors do and should enter in to the decision.

Supposing all the math said “buy” in your neighborhood. You still might be a renter if:

1) You just feel stressed owning a house with a mortgage over your head
2) You might need to move in the short term and those transaction costs of owning might loom large
3) You are unfamiliar with an area you plan to move to and you wish to rent to get the feel of the place
4) You want to keep your life simple, at least in the short term

All good reasons I think. As Realtors we need to understand our buyers (and sellers) and make sure even if the math is right – renting may still be the way to go.

Sure, you may miss out on a housing boom. Prices could rise and you may be priced out of your future home. The returns in an upward trending housing market can be substantial especially with a mortgage leveraging up the returns. But those emotional factors matter too.

So in rent vs. buy listen to yourself (and your clients) and make sure those inside feelings are added in to the math.


No legal, investment, or tax advice is being given in this Blog.  Consult with legal, financial and tax professionals before acting on any real estate transaction.  Actual real estate price and sales results are subject to market forces and are not completely predictable. The writings of this Blog are intended for the sole use of our clients.
Some of the data relating to real estate for sale on the website comes in part from the Broker reciprocity program of M.L.S. of Naples, Inc. The properties displayed here may not be all the properties available through the MLS reciprocity Program. This information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Buyers and sellers are responsible for verifying all information about their purchase prior to closing.
Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan. Talk to Mark and Nan about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.
Mark Goebel, PA
REALTOR Coldwell Banker 5th Avenue South
Mobile: 239.595.3921
Facebook: NaplesBestAddresses
Twitter @mcgoebel
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