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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.

2-minute read

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.

What's next?

We can help you consider your finances and options. Speak with a US mortgage representative for help deciding whether to rent or buy.

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