Is it better to rent or buy?
Everyone will find themselves or has found themselves at some point in their lives with the need to get a property, but what is more convenient: to buy or to rent? Which option is more beneficial for us?
Buying or renting is the eternal dilemma of the real estate sector. There are the perpetual defenders of either option, with endless discussions about which is more advantageous. In the end, however, the answer is quite simple: it depends. It depends on our situation and our needs. What seems ideal for someone in their forties, with a stable job, may end up being quite the opposite for young persons in their twenties who want to see the world. A personal decision, but one that requires significant planning. We analyse the current situation and the prevailing trends.
Ownership, a cultural issue?
This dilemma can also be considered a cultural issue: 74% of Catalans live in their own homes and the rest in rented accommodation. This is the same in many southern countries, while in Northern Europe these numbers change radically: countries such as Germany or Switzerland barely exceed 40% of homeowners. The tendency to buy a property continues to decline, especially among young people, whose economic prospects make this decision difficult.
Buying: an investment for the future
When we buy a flat, whether in a lump sum or through a mortgage, we are investing in our future, allocating an important part of our savings. Owning a property is an investment in the future, which allows you to sell and recover part of the money at any time. In fact, the current economic situation encourages us to consider the option of taking out a mortgage, since the low-interest rates of the Euribor can significantly reduce the amount we would pay in the event of taking out a mortgage. Moreover, the prices of flats, although not low, can be considered to have relatively moderated their price after the pandemic year.
Buying a home is equivalent to owning an asset that will always be there, and that will therefore be beneficial if our future plans involve having stability: staying in the same place for years, having a stable job that does not require us to change location or a place suitable for the family plans we have.
Renting: freedom… At what price?
Renting is the opposite option to buying, and we can sum it up with the words freedom and flexibility: it allows us not to be tied to any of the homes we choose, and if in a year’s time we want to leave because we are going to work abroad, we get some new neighbours that we don’t like, or simply for a change of scenery, there is no problem, except for the particular conditions that we have signed in the contract. This is also significantly cheaper than if we have a mortgage, as we do not need a notary or any other relevant legal formalities. This is a key point for young people or families with fewer resources who do not have sufficient savings to carry out the formalities of a mortgage.
However, this flexibility hides an important handicap: the limited duration of the contracts. The rent we have taken out will last for a certain number of years. After that, it is possible that the price will change and increase. Regardless of the neighbourhood or town in which we live, we may find ourselves in the situation of not being able to pay the new rent, even though we have been regularly paying money for many years that in the end, we have “lost”: it has not translated into becoming owners.
We should also remember that the freedom that a rental can provide can be a relative concept, as there are things that we cannot choose, for example, any renovations to the flat that we want to do, for which we will need the landlord’s permission.
Our situation and our profile are unique
Buying or renting may seem, and certainly are, two opposing concepts, but at the end of the day, they are two sides of the same coin: the need to have a place to live.
In the end, each person is different, and what some may consider basic, for others is nothing more than an unnecessary luxury, or even a disadvantage. We have to think about our plans for the future and, according to our personal situation and finances, choose one option or another.
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