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Is it best to borrow your bricks or own your bricks?

Which has more advantages? To own your house or rent it?

We moved into our house 3 years ago in June after months and months of saving for our deposit. I was working by day at the insolvency service and by night in a bar whilst my boyfriend worked all the overtime sent his way. I was 20 when we bought our house. It was a lot of hard work and savings that allowed us to buy rather than rent. Therefore we love out little terraced house.

However, our love has been tested in the last month. The kitchen lights decided to give way, so cooking by candlelight has made for interesting meal times but no food poisoning as yet. The boiler is also being a tad temperamental. Hot water is dependent on how accommodating the boiler feels towards a warm shower or a freezing wake up call! When you own your own house, the first thing that happens when something goes wrong is a £ sign flashes in front of your eyes. I wonder how much is this going to cost?

In the back of my mind this raised the question of ‘rent vs buying debate’. Obviously, if I were to rent my property then I wouldn’t be responsible for the house repairs. I wouldn’t have to foot the bill as it would be landlord’s responsibility. I would simply ring the landlord with the issue and he would resolve whatever needed doing. This is for many people a massive ‘pro’ to the renting argument.

It’s no secret that the current housing market is struggling. However, this has meant that on the whole lenders interest rates are relatively low.

Therefore, in the current climate it often makes the monthly mortgage payment lower than a rental payment. However, we are very much at the mercy of the housing market. If interest rates increase, so will my mortgage payment.

Another ‘pro’ of a mortgaged property is the idea of ‘investing in your future’. Once the mortgage has been paid, we will own the house outright and will have a very valuable asset to do with what we wish. This, for many is a pro to a mortgage as you feel you are paying towards your future.

However, there is the very scary side of owning your property. If my partner or I were to lose our jobs and unable to meet the monthly mortgage payment, we run the risk of house repossession. Dealing with IVA’s on a day to day basis means I’ve seen the worst case scenario of a house being repossessed. The debtor being left with a shortfall, whereby the value of the property does not pay back the mortgage outstanding. This leaves a lot of people insolvent and unable to pay back the property shortfall.

Renting a property for many means they are left with the flexibility of being able to uproot quickly, at low expense. They are not tied to one property and if they wish to move, they give notice to their landlord. Giving and/or receiving the exact date they are able to move. This is not as easy when you are trying to sell your property, as you are dependent on a buyer.

Whether you choose to rent or buy your property is often dictated by lifestyle and circumstance and there is no right or wrong answer. I’m glad we bought our property when we did however and we were lucky enough to be able to save, this isn’t the case for a lot of people though.

By: Aimee Sheehan

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