Under Pressure: Buying or Renting

Mar 15, 2022Building a Budget

As a newlywed living in a studio apartment, I still remember contemplating our next move. Should we purchase a home; or, should we stay put, and continue to rent? After weighing a few different factors, we decided we were ready to purchase a home, so we spent the next three years improving our credit score and saving for a down payment.

We thought we had prepared well enough for the purchase, however once we were settled into our home, we were confronted with the reality of everything that comes with homeownership. In this blog post, we will take a look at a few other factors any prospective homebuyer should take into consideration when purchasing a home.

  • Maintenance - Everyone trying to get into homeownership knows the expenses attached to the upkeep of a home. My husband is a handyman, but he is not a contractor nor a builder, so there is still a limit on how much work he can do inside our home. When you think of home maintenance, be sure to factor in the cost for parts, materials, and overall ability to do the job. Another important factor to consider when it comes to maintenance is time. While we may have the ability to fix something, do we have the time? Be sure to carve out the time for the project or home maintenance. There is nothing worse than starting a project, and not finishing it for months. Finally, no matter how handy you are, unless you have all of the certifications you need to get the job done right, and to code, you might still need to hire someone to help you finish your home projects.
  • Budget - Having a sustainable budget for your monthly expenses may not be enough. Before purchasing our first home, I reviewed our budget so many times, but two months after moving into our new house, the unforeseen costs of a broken washer and dryer drained our emergency fund. Make sure to think beyond monthly expenses and create a rainy day fund for those unexpected costs

  • Lifestyle - Something’s got to give. For any new homeowner, it is wise to take a hard look at your lifestyle and see where you can make adjustments to not only save, but improve your quality of life. When I talk about lifestyle change, it goes beyond eliminating dinners out or going on fewer vacations. It means getting creative on how to cut expenses and spend quality time with your family, which may look like letting your kids choose a meal to cook at home, together. It’s about balance, and finding what works best for your family, even if it means saying “sayonara” to your three-day weekend getaway from time to time so that you can finish a home project.

Owning a home is not for everyone, and there are many moving parts that you need to consider before jumping into homeownership. It can be an excellent investment, but assume there is always risk in investing. Your goal and your intent for why you think it makes sense to buy a home is crucial. If your intention of purchasing a home is for tax benefits, consult a tax advisor to make sure you are making an informed decision. Lastly, do not buy into the pressure from family, friends or colleagues. Remember that you are the one who will sign the dotted line, not your friend or relatives. Design your life, your way!

Mylene Leasure

Mylene Leasure

Financial Education Coordinator | HAPO Community Credit Union



Receive regular updates on new Blog posts and Podcast episodes


Building a Budget / Real Story / Debt