There are very valid arguments for both renting and home ownership in Charlottesville. Although Realtors tend to favor the ownership option – – it’s natural because we’ve staked our livelihood on its merits – – yet I see situational circumstances where renting a home (aka leasing) can be the preferred choice. One common desirable aspect of a temporary rental situation is when you are moving to an unfamiliar location and you want the time to look around before you make your home purchase. Often the closing schedule from your current-to-new home isn’t smooth, and a rental can bridge the gap for awhile after you need to be out of your current home.
There’s a lot to be said on this topic but one very important fact still remains: if you wait to purchase a home at these historically low interest rates, the ramifications are huge in the long term. If the rate goes up even 1% (from 4.5% to 5.5%) ….. a delay which only costs $151.53 per month will skyrocket over the course of a 30-year mortgage to add more than $54K to your real expenses. Even if you have a 7 year mortgage, the extra expense of that 1% increase in rate in over $12K.
If you’re on the fence about the timing of your Virginia home purchase, choose “soon” if you are able.
I had some acquaintances who rented the same townhome for over 30 years. They were a landlord’s dream. They kept the property in pristine condition, performed routine maintenance and upgrades, paid on time in full. And they were perfectly content with that arrangement and claimed it suited them. And so it did. Right up until the time that they happened to retire during the same year that their landlord decided to replace their building. Only then did they realize the cost to them of continual delays in their “someday” plans to purchase their own home.