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Is It Better To Rent Or Buy?

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Terry Story, Rent or buy

With Terry Story, 25-year Veteran Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Boca Raton, FL

Terry covers four key aspects related to housing – recent consumer-oriented changes that impact mortgages, a question on unauthorized property alterations by a tenant, whether it’s better to rent or buy, and the reasons that people tend to want to move out of their homes and neighborhoods.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just put out a new mortgage initiative – the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule – designed to help consumers understand their loan options, shop for a mortgage that’s best for them, and avoid costly surprises at the closing table. The Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule replaces four disclosure forms with two new ones, the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. The new forms are easier to understand and easier to use. The rule also requires that you get three business days to review your Closing Disclosure and ask questions before you close on a mortgage. So to make sure the closing process goes smoothly for you, it’s important to know how this rule will affect you as a mortgage buyer, and help you choose lenders and realtors that are aware of and well prepared to handle these changes on your home mortgage process. The bottom line is that consumers will now know their closing costs and all relevant numbers three days prior to closing – for better consumer awareness… but be prepared; the rule went into effect October 3 and it’s going to be crazy initially as computer systems changeover and people get comfortable with the changes.

Terry answers a listener’s question about a tenant who made changes to a rental property without written permission from the owner – that’s a big no no, by the way – such changes are clear grounds for eviction and you shouldn’t expect to get reimbursed for the changes you made… so it’s important that landlords and tenants are aware of this. Major property repairs typically are the landlord’s problem, so if you encounter something serious, don’t take it upon yourself to fix it… but contact your landlord first, and know that you can also use this as grounds to cancel your lease. In a nutshell, know your rights and your limitations.

Is it better to rent or buy? There is no right answer and it really depends on your financial situation and where you live… some locations and situations favor ownership, others are closer to breakeven between owning and renting – so there is no straight answer but view this in context to where you live.

And lack of space appears to be the #1 reason people want to move, followed by maintenance related issues (too old, not well maintained, chronically problematic plumbing, etc.), noisy and unfriendly neighbors, messy yards, too many fast-moving vehicles on their street, houses that are too close to each other, or being too far from retail – the reasons runs the gamut.