Christine Haines | Columbus Real Estate



This listing recently sold for $59,000.

4 B MOHICAN LN, MANCHESTER, NJ 08579  

Residential
$59,900
Price
$59,000
Sale Price
2
Bedrooms
2
Baths
Active adult community- largest model! This Lexington model is available featuring 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room and sun room. Come relax! Bus service, club house and activities for all! Easy to show!



With rent prices soaring in many areas of the U.S., renters are starting to consider whether now is the right time to start saving for a down payment on a home.

Depending on where you live and what your timeline is for buying a house, you might be wondering the same thing.

So, in today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to break down your rental costs to determine whether it makes more sense to buy a home rather than continue renting.

Add up your rental costs

There are any number of costs associated with renting depending on your lease agreement. Some renters are required to pay their own heating and utilities, while others have several bonuses thrown into the cost of their rent, such as internet, gym memberships and more.

So, take a minute to write down each of your rental expenses. To get you started, here’s a list of some of the most common costs for renters:

  • Monthly rent

  • Electric bills

  • Heating bills

  • Trash removal

  • Renter’s insurance

  • Parking fees

Now that you know how much you put toward renting each month, it’s time to take a look at what it could cost you to own a home.

Homeowner expenses

The key thing to remember about buying a home is that your costs can vary widely based on the size of your home, where it’s located, and a number of other factors. However, you can often find area averages online.

If you’re considering a starter home (which you should!), then you’ll want to look at houses in your area that are on the lower end of the market.

To get an idea of what your mortgage payments and monthly interest will be, you can use a free tool like Bankrate.

Now, let’s make a list of your homeowner expenses:

  • Mortgage payment

  • Home insurance

  • Trash removal

  • Utilities

  • Heating and AC costs (plan for higher costs than renting due to more space)

  • Electricity

  • Property taxes (divided by 12)

  • Mortgage insurance (if you don’t have a 20% down payment saved)

Cost-benefit analysis of owning a home vs renting

Now that you know the general costs, you’re getting close to knowing whether it would be cheaper or more expensive to buy a home than rent.

However, that isn’t the full picture. When you own a home, you’re responsible for maintenance and upkeep. That means you should budget around $250 per month toward maintenance. Even if you don’t use that amount each month, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make a repair or upgrade, or even hire a professional to come and fix something on your home.

The final piece of the picture involves home equity. When you own a home, most of the money you pay each month to your lender will come back to you in the form of equity. As a renter, your money goes to your landlord and will never be seen or heard from again.

So, if you’ve added up your lists, accounted for maintenance costs, and still have enough left over to live comfortably each month by buying a home, you can most likely bet on buying as being a better option.

If not, it might pay off to rent for another year or two while you save up for a down payment so you can get the lowest interest rate and avoid PMI.



282 COLLEGE DR, EDISON, NJ 08817  

Residential
$100,000
Price
2
Bedrooms
1
Baths
Take a look at this 3rd floor Condo with 2 large bedrooms, spacious living room and eat in kitchen. Newer roof, bathroom has been undated with tile floor and neutral colors. Bring your buyers they won't be disappointed. Move in condition.



154 B ARCH ST, BROWNS MILLS, NJ 08015  

Rental
$1,100
Price
2
Bedrooms
1
Baths
This is a clean 2 bedroom rental second floor private entrance. Laundry room with washer and dryer. Large closets in bedroom, new carpet throughout this unit. Newer windows. Dishwasher, gas range and a large amount of counter space. Plenty of storage space. Private side yard with driveway for 3 vehicles. Can't say enough about this rental, bring your tenants it won't last. Pets at landlord discretion



Buying a house involves dozens of interrelated decisions, many of which could affect the quality of your life for years to come. No pressure, though!

Working with an experienced real estate agent with whom you feel comfortable is one strategy for successfully navigating many of those pivotal decisions. The ideal buyers' agent will be familiar with neighborhoods in your target area, and is trained to help you match your requirements with properties in your price range. They can assist you in developing a priority list of things you want and need in your next home.

In addition to noticing the features of each individual house you're considering, there's also the bigger picture of the character of the neighborhood in which homes are located. Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you visit different homes for sale.

  • Street traffic: There are several distinct disadvantages to living close to a busy street or highway. First of all, there's the noise factor, which is often a deal breaker for people who thrive on peace and quiet! If you have young children, a busy street can also be a potential safety hazard. When you have cars constantly driving by your house, privacy is another issue to consider.
  • Proximity of houses: Speaking of privacy and quiet, there's also the question of how physically close houses are situated next to each other. If they're only ten or twenty feet away, then you might end up knowing more about your neighbors than you really want to! (The reverse of that is also true.) In those instances, privacy hedges and tall fences can provide some benefits.
  • Appearance of the neighborhood: If nearby houses are in run-down condition or poorly maintained, that's generally a "red flag," in regard to the quality of the neighborhood. The same can usually be said about prospective neighbors who keep junk vehicles or construction debris on their property for any length of time. If you're considering a neighborhood with one or more abandoned houses on the street, proceed with caution. However, what you see, is not always what you get! Appearances can be misleading, and there may be plans underway, for example, to demolish a fire-damaged house and replace it with a new and improved home. Very often your real estate agent can find out more about the circumstances surrounding an abandoned or boarded-up house. They may also be able to help you research crime statistics for a particular neighborhood or street.
  • Convenience factors: All things being equal, it's nice to live within walking distance or a short drive from grocery stores, drug stores, banks, public parks, the post office, child care services, schools, doctors, dentists, hospitals, veterinarians, restaurants, and other amenities.
When you've narrowed down your house search to one or two possibilities, a lot of useful information can be gathered by scheduling a couple additional visits and/or walkthroughs -- especially at different times of the day or week. Second and third visits to homes you're considering can definitely shed additional light on factors such as noise level and other quality of life issues.