Take a look: Is it bet­ter to rent or own?

Cambridge Edition - - OUT & ABOUT - SU­SAN ED­MUNDS

Own­ing your own house is the quin­tes­sen­tial Kiwi dream. We’re told there’s noth­ing we would all like more than to have our names on the mort­gage that paid for the roof over our heads.

But con­sid­er­ing the amount of money buy­ers have to shell out to get into the market at the mo­ment, some might won­der: Is it worth it?

We look at the pros and cons.

YES, BUY: When you own a house, you aren’t pay­ing some­one else’s mort­gage. If you can switch rent­ing for mort­gage, ev­ery pay­ment gets you closer to own­ing your own place, out­right.

BUT... You’ll pay a lot more for the priv­i­lege, which means you’ll have less money to in­vest else­where. Barfoot & Thomp­son data shows the av­er­age sale price in Auck­land’s cen­tral west, is $922,042 - or $1000 a week over 20 years on an 80 per cent mort­gage. You could rent for an av­er­age $493 a week.

YES, BUY: His­tor­i­cally, house prices have dou­bled roughly ev­ery decade. If you buy now, what­ever you pay it will prob­a­bly look like a bar­gain in 10 or 15 years.

BUT... There’s no guar­an­tee that house prices will keep go­ing up at the rate they have in the past. Pay­ing rent is frus­trat­ing but pay­ing down a mort­gage just to get out of neg­a­tive eq­uity (where you owe more than your house is worth) could be worse.

YES, BUY: You can do what you like to your own house. When some land­lords quib­ble about pic­ture hooks in the walls, the free­dom to do what you like with our own place is lib­er­at­ing.

BUT... If some­thing goes wrong, it’s a relief to be able to call the land­lord to have it fixed - free. No wor­ry­ing about whether you have enough money in the bud­get this month to pay a plumber to fix the toi­let - that’s all your land­lord’s prob­lem.

YES, BUY: When you own your own house, no one is go­ing to kick you out (pro­vided you keep pay­ing the mort­gage). Es­pe­cially for peo­ple who have kids, this se­cu­rity can be very im­por­tant - you know you won’t have to take them out of school or up­root them from their friends.

BUT... If you want to move, it’s a lot more of a has­sle. Renters can usu­ally give no­tice and book the movers. If you own, you have to list the house, deal with open homes, get a suit­able of­fer, ar­range the right set­tle­ment date ... and then you can think about mov­ing.

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