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Should I Rent Or Buy After Moving?

Sidney Richardson5-minute read

May 18, 2022


Popular opinion might suggest that it’s a good idea to rent a home first when moving somewhere you’ve never lived before – but in reality, renting may not always be the best choice. Let’s talk about when buying a house makes more sense and saves you more money.

Is Renting Always The Smartest Move?

Renting provides the flexibility to live in a new place with a shorter time commitment than purchasing a home. It gives you the freedom to move again if you need to and the ability to test out different living spaces and neighborhoods. This can definitely be beneficial if you’re not sure what you want in a home yet or if you’re unsure when you’ll be relocated again, but there are plenty of downsides to renting, too.

You’ll likely have to move all your things multiple times and renting tends to become more expensive the longer you live somewhere. Your money doesn’t go toward building any equity and rent could rise at any moment – in fact, according to CNN, the national median rent rose by 16.4% in 2021, a huge spike from the usual increase rate of around 3%.

There is also a limited sense of stability when you rent a home. With lease terms typically ranging from a few months to a year, the space you’re staying in may not feel very permanent. Since your landlord owns the building you’re renting, they could even decide to sell it, which could leave you scrambling to find another place to live.

On top of that, the property you’re renting may also have a whole host of restrictions. For instance, you may not be able to do any remodeling to your space or even paint your walls without the property owner’s approval. If you own pets, renting could be a problem in that regard, too – not all rental properties allow animals. These rules and restrictions can make it hard to make the space you’re renting feel like a home.

The Perks Of Buying In A New City

If you’re on the fence about renting in a new place, consider buying a house when you move. Renting may seem like the easier option at first, but there are benefits to homeownership that can’t be achieved by renting. Let’s talk about when buying a house in a new place might actually be a better choice for you – and your wallet.

You May Save More Money Buying

While renting is less of a commitment than buying a house, it might also prove more costly. Depending on the area you’re moving to as well as other factors such as the length of your stay there, you could end up paying more to live in a rental property than you would to own your own house. The money you pour into rent could also be better spent as an investment toward equity in a home. Building equity gives you more options for getting cash back on your investment in the future as well as refinancing and selling. The accrual of equity from a home investment is the single largest contributing factor to creating generational wealth. Plus, the interest you pay on your mortgage may be tax deductible – a benefit renters do not have access to.

Our Rent vs. Buy Calculator can help you determine whether it would be a smart idea to rent or buy a house in your unique situation. After entering in the potential costs of renting or buying a home in the area you are moving to, the calculator can tell you how much you can expect to pay in both scenarios going forward. In many cases, it may prove more affordable to invest in a home than to deal with the rising costs of rent.

The Internet Can Help You Do Research Ahead Of Time

Social media groups run by locals are often good to join to learn about your new home and can help you get a feel for what living in a place is like before ever setting foot there. Generally, anything you can learn about a new city from living there can be found somewhere online. Talking to a local real estate agent is also a great resource to consider. Real estate agents know their areas of work very well and can help you determine whether a place would be the right fit for you.

Availability May Be Better For Buyers

Though this isn’t always the case, in some locations it may be easier to find a home to purchase than to rent – even in a competitive market. When renting, it’s often easier to find apartments than multibedroom family homes that are affordable and available. If you are moving with your family and have children or pets, an apartment may not be as ideal an option as a house with more space and potentially a yard.

When buying a home, you will have more freedom to find a space that works for you and your family than you would if you chose to rent. As a homeowner, you’ll also have the freedom to decorate and create a space tailored to you and your preferences – whereas renters are restricted and often very limited in what changes they can make to a space.

You Don’t Necessarily Have To Stay In The House Forever

If you’re worried about having to stay in a house for a long time, should you choose to buy, don’t panic. Even if you don’t plan on staying in a house longer than 5 years, there are still ways you can make a home purchase a smart investment. If you end up wanting to move elsewhere, it might be an option to transform the home you bought into a rental property or Airbnb. This way, you’re not tied down to the property and you have the opportunity to create additional income while you find another place to live. Once it’s feasible to do so, you can always sell your house, too – and in such a competitive real estate market, it likely won’t be too challenging to find a buyer.

We Offer Incentives To Help You Out

In addition to the benefits above, the Rocket Mortgage® Relocation Team also offers incentives to our relocating friends who are looking to buy a home. Should you qualify, you may be able to take advantage of specialized pricing and award-winning customer service that will help make sure your move is as smooth and affordable as possible. With rates still low, now may be a great time to explore your home buying options rather than renting.

The Bottom Line

Picking up your life and moving it to a new place can be an incredibly stressful endeavor. While renting is always an option, buying may be the best choice for some – and it could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run, too. The Rocket Mortgage Relocation Team is here to provide transparency, support and specialized pricing to help make sure your transition goes as smoothly as possible and saves you the stress of figuring out everything yourself.

Reach out to your Account Manager or Account Executive for more information, recommendations and industry trends.

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Headshot of Author Sidney Richardson

Sidney Richardson

Sidney Richardson is an intern writer covering homeownership, mortgage and lifestyle topics. She is a senior at Oakland University pursuing a degree in journalism and advertising.