Deciding whether to move from being a renter to being an owner is a big decision. Houses can cost a lot of money to buy, and you can end up paying them back for years to come. On the flip side, having your own house can be very rewarding and often can end up being a good long term investment.
I always found looking for rental properties to be quite frustrating. You see we have a dog, and there are many landlords who do not like you to have a pet, so my choices of rental properties have always been quite limited.
One thing I have found is that it’s important to do your research before putting in your rental application. I learned this after one of my friends ended up looking for a house for rent on Gumtree and ended up getting exactly what they wanted at the right price – so it pays to look around.
After hearing about his success, I decided to look for Real Estate for sale on Gumtree too and it’s surprising to see just how many properties there are for sale. If I ever decide to buy a property (which I am looking at very seriously) I will be sure to check it out in addition to the other more established real estate sites.
The biggest problem I have with committing to purchasing a house is that I have no control over interest rates, and I don’t want to get myself into a situation where I have a large amount of debt that I can service today, but might not be able to service should interest rates increase more than a couple of percent.
I know that some people have managed to pay down large amounts of their debt during this period of ultra low interest rates, and I certainly understand the idea behind doing that, which I why I have been looking. In the end it all comes down to the risk vs. reward situation I am happy to tolerate. I can keep renting forever and never really take on any risk, or I could buy a property and live rent free, but accept that interest rates could change and I may have to pay more for the mortgage.
What would you do?