For some people, buying your own home is a rite of passage, a landmark event in life to be celebrated. It’s not unusual to hear how important it is to ‘get on the property ladder’, and there’s no doubt that buying a property is a significant moment in anybody’s life. It’s easy to view renting as something you do until you can afford to buy your own property, but more and more people in the UK are renting. Renting in the UK is increasingly viewed as a long-term or permanent solution – much as it already is in countries like France and Germany. If you’re considering whether to rent or buy property, take a look at our guide to see which option suits you best.
The case for buying
In the UK, most people view buying property as a grown-up, responsible thing to do. There are numerous reasons why buying a home can be a good idea. Depending on your circumstances, you might find that buying represents a better option than renting for you. Here are some reasons why buying property can be a positive move:
It’s a good long-term investment
People often cite owning property as one of the soundest investments you can make. Depending on the market conditions, you could make a significant profit from property ownership. You can also treat a property as a financial asset. You may be able to release equity in your property through remortgaging, providing you with extra money to pay for things you need. Alternatively, you can always sell the property if you’re in need of a significant cash boost.
Monthly mortgage payments increase your capital
One of the most common criticisms of renting is that the money you spend on rent goes straight into the pocket of the landlord. If you own a home, monthly mortgage repayments directly increase your overall ownership stake in the property. Eventually, you may pay off your mortgage entirely and own your home outright. Additionally, monthly mortgage repayments tend to be lower than monthly rental costs.
“Beautiful building; Great location; Happy residents!”
You don’t need permission to make changes to the property
One of the most satisfying things about owning your own home is that you can change the décor or completely redecorate without anyone else’s permission. Rental properties may allow you some degree of flexibility to make changes, but you can only truly put your own stamp on a property you own. Of course, you may also be able to make more substantial changes to your own property, including extending and renovating. These though, may be subject to the relevant planning consents.
It provides stability
Once you’ve bought your own home, there’s no contract or tenancy agreement to expire, where you know you’ll have to renegotiate or find a new place to live. You can live in your home for as long as you wish, and once you’re on the property ladder, you may be able to upgrade to a bigger property in the future. People tend to see property ownership as a stable, sensible option for people who are looking to settle down.
The case for renting
There are certainly some strong arguments for buying your own property. There is, however, also a compelling case for the benefits of renting. Renting provides a great deal of flexibility and unlike buying, you don’t have to save for a long time to be able to live in the house you want. Read on to discover some of the benefits of renting.
It’s a flexible option
The most attractive benefit of renting is the flexibility it affords. Renting gives you the chance to live where you want, and if you need to relocate, you can give your notice and move on to a new area. It can be more affordable to rent in desirable, expensive areas than to buy, as property prices can be prohibitively expensive in more sought-after areas.
You don’t have to save for a deposit
Saving for a deposit is one of the biggest barriers to home ownership. In London, a 20% deposit for a first-time buyer costs an average of £88,000. This is 183% of the city’s average gross income, and the figure is rising. For many people, saving for a deposit isn’t realistic, so renting provides a more viable option. For rental properties, deposits are usually no greater than the sum of four or five weeks’ rent.
“Amazing building for short term stay.”
You won’t have to pay for repairs
Once you’ve bought a house, it’s your responsibility to pay for improvements and pay for repairs as they arise. Sometimes there can be jobs to do as soon as you move in. Repair bills can soon stack up and become costly. As a renter, your landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance on the property. You shouldn’t have to pay if anything breaks down or needs fixing.
Your wealth isn’t tied up in your home
People tend to regard owning a home as a sound investment, but it can mean that a substantial amount of your wealth is held in your property at any given time. Renting can help you to keep more of your wealth and savings within easy reach, should you want or need to spend it. Similarly, if the property market does take a downturn, as a home owner you can lose money. As a renter, you’re protected from this.
Purpose built rentals are on the rise
‘Build to rent’ properties that are purpose-made for renters are growing in popularity, especially across the UK’s largest cities. These developments are built specifically for the rental market, not for sales. The developments tend to be modern and stylishly appointed.
They often include communal working and social areas, health clubs and spa facilities. Services also usually include on-site management teams, concierge services, free WiFi and inclusive utilities bills.
Build to rent can be an ideal option if you’re looking for a high-quality new home, with additional benefits. They offer all the flexibility of the traditional rental sector. Tenancies can vary from short-term, temporary lets, to longer-term arrangements of up to five years.
If you’re interested in learning more about build to rent, take a look at our dedicated guide to build to rent. You can also browse a selection of reviews below for some of the most popular build to rent developments. Each has been reviewed on HomeViews by verified residents.
Reviewing 8 Water Street, E14
Perfect modern home
Reviewing Sailmakers, E14
Great place to stay, staff make it feel truly like home.
Reviewing New Maker Yards, M5
Everything in the residence is excellent
Reviewing Aston Place, B1
The perfect place to call home.
Reviewing The Whitmore Collection, B3
Enjoying life at The Whitmore
Reviewing Edgehill Park, CA28