Considerations for buying vs renting in Pennsylvania
There are pros and cons to both buying and renting a home in Pennsylvania, and the best decision for you depends on your specific situation. We know today that home prices are rising. Rental prices are rising as well. So is buying a home in Pennsylvania more affordable than renting?
For example, if you are someone who likes to know that they will always have a place to call home, then buying a house is likely a better option for you. On the other hand, if you are someone who likes to be able to move around to a different area and take advantage of new opportunities or live in a different style of property, it may be better to rent a home.
Another thing to consider is how long you plan on staying in one place. Do you imagine raising your family and seeing your children grow up in the same house?
If you think you will stay in your home for more than five years, buying may be a better option, as you will have started to build equity in your property. However, if you think you will only be in the area for a short time, renting may be a better option, as you will not have to worry about selling your house later on.
The current housing market for buying and renting in Pennsylvania
Median home price
In January 2022, the median-priced home in Pennsylvania was $190,381. This means that half of the properties sold in Pennsylvania were for more than this amount, and half were for less. Keep in mind that it includes both small and large homes, as well as suburban and rural homes.
Average apartment rent price
The average rent for an apartment in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in February 2022, for example, was $1,884. This was for an average apartment size of 916 sq. ft.
Properties in cities and metropolitan areas will usually run higher than in more rural areas.
How to determine whether buying or renting is more affordable for you
To figure out whether buying or renting in Pennsylvania is more affordable for you, there are a few things you need to take into account.
First, you need to figure out how much rent and mortgage payments would be for the same size and type of home. Click here to go to the rent a house vs buying a house calculator.
Calculation factors of purchasing compared to renting
Purchasing a property:
- Home Price
- Down Payment
A down payment is a percentage of the purchase price of a home that is paid in cash at the time of purchase. A down payment helps to reduce the amount of money that you need to borrow, and it also reduces your monthly mortgage payments.
- Mortgage Rate
The mortgage rate is the percentage of the loan amount that is charged each year by the lender. This rate is usually expressed as a percent of the loan amount, and it is a fixed or a variable rate.
- Loan Term
The loan term on a mortgage is the number of years over which the loan will be repaid. This term can be anywhere from five to thirty years, depending on the lender and the type of mortgage that you choose.
- Buying Closing Costs
Closing costs on a mortgage are the fees that you have to pay when you buy a house. These costs can include things like the cost of obtaining a mortgage, appraisal fees, and title insurance.
- Property Tax
Property tax is a levy that is assessed by a local government against the owners of real estate property within its jurisdiction. The tax is usually based on the value of the property and the type of property it is.
- Property Tax Increase
- Home Insurance
- HOA Fee
HOA fees are charges to community residents that are assessed by homeowners’ associations for the upkeep of shared areas and facilities. This can include things like maintaining common areas, landscaping, and security.
- Maintenance Cost
The maintenance cost of a home is the cost of repairing and maintaining the property. This can include things like painting, repairs, HVAC service, and lawn care.
- Home Value Appreciation
Home appreciation is the increase in the value of a home over time. This can be due to a number of factors, like inflation, population growth, and changing market conditions.
- Cost/Insurance Increase
- Selling Closing Costs
Selling closing costs are the fees that are paid by the seller of a home when they sell it. These costs can include things like the cost of transferring the title of the property and paying for a real estate agent.
- Monthly Rental Fee
- Rental Fee Increase
- Renter’s Insurance
- Security Deposit
- Upfront Cost
The calculator then considers your tax situation and gives you a 30-year projection of the finances of buying a home vs renting. It shows you the break-even year.
The benefits of owning a home
There are a few key benefits of owning a home that renters may not have access to.
First, Pennsylvania homeowners can deduct their mortgage interest and property taxes from their taxable income. This can save homeowners a lot of money over the years.
Second, homeowners can build equity in their home over time. This means that, as you make mortgage payments, you are also building up equity in your home. This can be helpful if you ever need to take out a loan against your home.
Third, homeowners can rent out their homes if they ever need to move away or if they are leaving the area for extended periods of time for work in another part of the world. This can help them to cover some of their monthly expenses.
First-time home buyers may find the process of buying a home daunting, but with the help of a real estate agent and some research, it can be a smooth process. Their business is to represent the interests of their buyers.
The benefits of renting
Standard benefits when you rent a home:
- Mobility: you can move easily if you find a better opportunity or want to live in a different style of house.
- No repairs/maintenance required: the landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about it.
- Lower upfront costs: you may not need as large of a down payment as you would for a house.
- Increased flexibility with leases: some landlords are willing to negotiate lease terms with residents, such as increasing the amount of notice you need to give before moving out.
- Reduced stress: owning a home can come with a lot of stress, such as worrying about repairs and being behind on mortgage payments. Renting removes this stress.
Factors to consider when making your decision
When making the decision of whether to rent or buy a home in Pennsylvania, you will need to consider a few factors:
- How much rent and mortgage payments would be for the same size and type of home
- How much money you would need for a down payment on a home
- The cost of repairs and maintenance on a home
- The benefits of owning a home vs renting a home
- How long you plan on staying in the area
- Your credit score
Finally, the decision of whether to rent or buy a home in Pennsylvania depends on your personal circumstances. If you are unsure which is the better option for you, speak with a real estate agent or financial advisor. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of both options and make a decision that is best for you.
Closing costs and other associated expenses with homeownership
When you buy a house, there are a number of closing costs that you will need to pay. These costs can vary depending on the state that you live in, but they typically include items such as:
- The down payment
The down payment on a home is the amount of money that you pay upfront when you buy a home. This amount can vary depending on the price of the home and your credit score. Most lenders require at least 3% of the purchase price, FHA requires 3.5% If you want to save on mortgage insurance premiums, then you’ll need at least 20 percent of the purchase price. If you are a Veteran, you may want to explore a VA loan that doesn’t require any down payment.
- Property taxes
- Transfer and Recordation taxes
- Home inspection fees
Home inspection fees are the fees that you pay to have an inspector come to the property and inspect it for any potential problems. The inspector will check things such as the roof, the foundation, the wiring, and the plumbing.
- Mortgage insurance premiums
Mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) are the monthly payments that you make for mortgage insurance. This insurance protects the lender in case you default on your mortgage. The premiums vary depending on the size of your down payment, your credit score, and the type of mortgage you have.
Mortgage points are a fee paid to the lender in order to reduce the interest rate on a mortgage.
- Recording fees
A real estate transaction recording fee is the fee that is paid to have a document related to the sale of a home (such as the deed or the mortgage) recorded in the local registry of deeds. This fee can vary depending on the state and the size of the transaction.
These are just some of the closing costs that you may need to pay. Be sure to ask your lender for a complete list of closing costs, so you are aware of what to expect.
Finally, in conclusion
In the end, the decision of whether to rent or buy a home in Pennsylvania depends on your personal circumstances. If you are unsure which is the better option for you, speak with a real estate agent or financial advisor. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of both options and make a decision that is best for you.
Pennsylvania is a great place to rent or buy a home, depending on your personal circumstances. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both options before making a decision.
We hope that this article helps you make an informed decision about whether to rent or buy a home in Pennsylvania.