Consumer Investigator Sasha Jones is hitting the streets of South Florida to find out what questions you are burning to know the answers to.
In our series Consumer Corner, NBC6 Responds takes your money questions to the experts.
Each week, we will feature a different consumer question on NBC6.
Consumer: Stephen Farquharson
Question: “I want to know what best would it be, to rent or to buy a house?”
Expert: Craig Kirsner, Kirsner Wealth Management
Craig Kirsner with Kirsner Wealth Management says before buying a home, you must weigh the financial responsibilities that come with owning.
Mortgages are hovering around 7.3% and it has made it difficult for people to afford the monthly payment for a home. But that’s not the only cost to keep in mind.
When you own a home, you must be ready to pay for insurance premiums, maintenance fees, property taxes, and utilities.
“You also have to factor in all the cost to maintain it, the homeowners insurance and things that break down. The goal as an American is to own a home, which makes a lot of sense, but at the same time you want to be in a position where the home doesn’t make it so it is too much of a bite to chew,” Kirsner said.
You also want to take into account the age of the home. Older homes may require more maintenance than newer homes. For this reason, Kirsner says depending on your financial position it could be a good idea to rent.
“It might make sense to rent for a year or two, and hopefully the market cools down a bit and you find a good buy or mortgage rates go back down to make it more affordable,” Kirsner said. “But you don’t want to be in a position where it is too big of a bite to chew, when we look at all of the factors, when it comes to owning versus renting.”
There are also steps you can take to put yourself in a better position to buy like adjusting your budget. You should see if you can afford new expenses and higher housing costs. Saving consistently is also an important step. You can save for the down payment but also for unexpected emergencies like storm damage, plumbing, or mold issues.
In short, buying can be a great financial decision if you are prepared for it.