Jay Allen's Blog
The option to buy vs rent is a topic that many will debate at this time of year. Each New Year is a clean slate, and it prompts us to think about what we would like to accomplish in the months ahead. It is worth considering the benefits of each approach before deciding how to proceed.
In today’s post we’re going to break down some of the benefits of renting an apartment and of buying a home.
One thing to note first, however, is that it isn’t always as simple as buy vs rent. Some living situations draw on the pros of each type of living. For example, living in a condo might be a good option for people who want the privacy and independence of owning their own home, but who also don’t have the time or desire to keep up with maintenance.
So, as we compare buying and renting, keep in mind that the features of each are not mutually exclusive.
Renting an apartment
Most people who are living on their own for the first time start off renting. For younger people just out of school, renting offers the first taste of independence without the prerequisites of homeownership.
When you rent your first apartment, you’ll learn the skills associated with budgeting for your monthly expenses, making your rent payments on time, and you start learning some of the skills that it takes to run a household.
In terms of monthly costs, apartments can vary greatly. Depending on where you live (and how luxurious the apartment is) you could end up having rent and utility payments that are much lower or much higher than mortgage payments for a house. However, apartment leases often come with the benefit of utilities, trash removal, and other expenses built in. They also typically require the landlord to maintain the apartment and the land it sits on. Live in the northern part of the country and hate shoveling snow? Make sure your lease specifies that your landlord will provide snow removal.
One technique that many renters take is to find an apartment that is small and affordable while they save up for a home. In this case, it’s worth selecting an apartment with fewer amenities if your end goal is saving for a down payment.
And what if you want to own a home someday but haven’t quite decided where you want to settle down? Maybe your work keeps you moving from place to place or you’ve always wanted to move away to somewhere new. Renting is typically a better option for those who aren’t quite sure what their plans are for the next coming years. They can have a stable place to live while they figure things out and plan their next move.
Buying a home
Once you’ve rented a home for awhile, you might become increasingly aware that you want more control over your residence. Your vision of a perfect home might require significant renovations/alterations...which are typically not allowed in a rental. Achieving your ideal home environment might require purchasing a home that offers the right amount of space or layout, then customizing it to fit your wants and needs.
As we enter tax season and you review your prior year's spending, you may also notice how much money you pay toward rent each year, which is essentially a net loss. When you buy a home, your mortgage payments might be going to the bank, but someday the money you’ve paid toward that home will be yours in the form of equity. You can then use this as a down payment for another home. This financial benefit cannot be understated. Since house values dependably increase over time, owning a home is a great investment toward your future.
So, those are the main pros and cons of renting vs buying a home. Think about your circumstances and determine which one makes the most sense for you right now. Then, start planning for the future.
26 Nancy Road, Milford, MA 01757
$399,000 Price $394,900 Sale Price
If you’re a health nut, where you live may be a big factor for you. The neighborhood that you choose could have some impact on your health and lifestyle choices. Your neighborhood will need the amenities that you crave like places for exercise, access to healthy food, and sidewalks for walking. These aspects also add to the community sense that you feel within the neighborhood. Children’s parks, people who go on frequent strolls, and a sense of people spending time outside often are all signs of a “healthy” neighborhood. Below, we’ll delve into these key factors.
Sidewalks And Bike Trails
Being able to do daily errands on foot along with access to easy outdoor exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle. These amenities provide safety and the ability to access what you need without a car. You can even find public transportation easier to get to and from. As a bonus, you’ll be doing something good for the environment, saving gas and staying out of traffic.
Nature Is Abundant
Don’t underestimate how much healthier being around nature can make you feel. Parks, gardens, hiking trails, and golf courses all provide access to the natural beauty around us. Even community gardens are a part of nature that can be good for your health. Having the opportunity to participate in a community of people growing and caring for their own food sources is good for you. The more access you have to nature in the place that you’re living, the healthier that you’ll be.
Check Out The Social Scene
Sometimes you can get a sense of a neighborhood just by observing it. Are people out and about making connections, or do people seem to go off more on their own? Socializing is an important part of health and well-being. Look for people walking their dogs, chatting, or small gatherings of neighbors catching up on their front yard.
Gyms And Healthy Food Are Readily Available
Do you see your favorite organic grocery store nearby? Having access to the type and quality of food you crave is important. Maybe there is an abundance of vegetarian and vegan restaurant options nearby. For those days that a workout outside just won’t do, having a gym close by is also a healthy convenience..
Check Out The Traffic
A neighborhood can have all of the above, yet if it has a lot of traffic, you could have a huge issue. Lots of traffic brings two different kinds of pollution- noise and air. Not having access to quiet spaces can often increase stress levels. If you have allergies or asthma, being around a lot of traffic pollution may not help your condition much either. While traffic seems like a small detail, it’s something to consider when you’re looking for a healthy neighborhood.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you might discover there is an easement attached to your property. If so, you’re probably wondering how this affects your property values.
What is an Easement?
In a nutshell, an easement is the right for one person or entity to have explicit permission to have use a portion of another person’s property for a specified purpose. There are three general types of easements: gross, appurtenant and prescriptive. Each has specific rights attached to them and the rights could be for either a private (i.e. allowing someone access or use) or public purpose (i.e. utility companies). Easements can be temporary or permanent; with the latter, the easement is typically written into the property deed.
It’s important to know, while easements permit others to use your land for a designated reason, it doesn’t grant anyone using your land any rights to ownership; you are sole owner.
Can Easements Affect Property Values?
Easements of land may or may not impact your property’s value, depending on how the land is being used. Many times, an easement has no impact on your property’s value. However, there are potential issues that may crop up when looking to develop or sell your land which could impact its perceived value.
In many neighborhoods, everyone has the same easement attached to their property. In these cases, it doesn’t typically impact your property value because the easements affect everyone’s property equally.
Is There a Way to Remove an Easement?
A court of law often considers an easement to be used in perpetuity unless a stipulation exists in the original agreement of how long the easement will last. In some cases, easements can be removed.
If you do successfully terminate an easement, be sure it’s recorded in public records.
While technically an easement doesn’t devalue your property, it can affect its marketability. This is always something to consider when determining to willfully grant an easement or buy a home that has an easement attached to its property deed.