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I spent years renting and in some ways it is frustrating, essentially you are paying someone else’s mortgage! Some landlords are a nightmare, believe me, I have had the experience of a few, others are lovely and allow you a lot of choice in how you decorate and keep the house. Should you get your own mortgage? Here are my thoughts.

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What makes renting less than ideal?

When you rent you never have full control of your home. There are aspects that the landlord will always have control over, for example, the structure, changing the boiler etc. Some choose to have more control than others. I had one landlady who tried to tell me when the grass needed cutting and wanted it done weekly to avoid breaking the tenancy! It wasn’t in the contract so it got done when it was needed which sometimes may have been every fortnight. The same landlady tried to walk in the house any time of the day when it suited her without even knocking!

Another issue with renting is that when you move all that money is gone, you have made no investment to the future and if you choose to move you are starting afresh with any money spend on decorating and improving the house gone. At least if you own a house and you make it lovely you can often sell it for more!

Should you get a mortgage instead?

If you are starting to wonder if you would be better off with a mortgage then there are a few things to consider. Firstly with your own home, there is less flexibility to move. Are you happy with the area for education, work and social links? Do you have any reservations about the area? Is the area likely to change over the next few years, ie is a big warehouse being built close by? All these things need to be considered to see if you are ready to look for a house in your chosen location.

The next thing to consider is if you can actually afford a mortgage. Using a mortgage calculator to work out the repayments will help you see how much you need to allow for the house you have possibly set your heart on. A calculator like this takes into account the interest and any deposit you have remember you can pay off your mortgage early if you come into money! If you have big plans then perhaps you also need to figure out how much the renovations would cost as there is little point buying a house you want to do up if you have no money left to make it your dream home.

Where will you be happy?

Do you feel like the stress of a mortgage may be too much for you? Perhaps you like the flexibility of renting and being able to move house more easily? Remember this is your home and you need to feel happy. Just because people say renting is wasted money doesn’t mean you can’t do it if it is what suits you! Think of the future, do you know what you want, where you want to be, and even how many children you may have? If these are all uncertain then this could really affect your decision.

Whatever you decide is right for you is the best decision, don’t let others influence you and push you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Remember the debt and payments will be your responsibility!

Further resources

Here are 10 tips to help you save for a mortgage from a fellow blogger.

The Home Loan Expert – mortgages and home finance options

Homelessness Support in the US – support for people without a home across the US

US Renting Statistics – how many people are currently renting property across the US

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