US homes: Rent or buy?
The decision whether to rent or buy a home in the US can affect upfront costs, your ability to customize the home, and more.
Key differences between renting and buying in the US
|Renting a home
|Buying a home
|What upfront costs will I need to pay?
|Renting a home may require a deposit, often equal to two months’ rent.
|Buying a home will require a down payment1, plus closing costs.
|What monthly expenses will I need to pay?
|Your expenses include rent payments and utilities.
|Your expenses include mortgage payments (principal and interest), taxes, insurance, fees2, and utilities.
|Who owns the property?
|Your landlord owns the property. Renting does not add to your wealth.
|You own the property. You build equity with every payment you make.
|Can I customize the home?
|You must ask your landlord for permission to make changes.
|You may customize as you like.3
|Who is responsible for maintenance?
|Your landlord is typically responsible for repairs.
|You are responsible for repairs.
|What is my commitment if I leave?
|When you leave at the end of your lease, you are not responsible for finding a new tenant.
|When you leave, you are responsible for renting or selling your home.
|Will my housing expenses change over time?
|You need to pay rent each month that you stay in the home.
|Once the mortgage is paid in full, your monthly housing expenses will decrease.
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