When it comes to homes, condos, and apartments, Filipinos often ask whether it’s better to buy or to rent. The answer here is that there’s no “better” option. Rather, the best decision depends on several factors. Some of these include your financial statusand the location of the property. Only after you deliberate on these considerations can you ultimately decide which one is the most suitable option.
That said, here’s a quick list of criteria that can help you make the right decision:
Buying May Be Better If…
You’re Ready to Settle Down
You might have noticed that many of those who have bought their own homes are those who are married (who may or may not have children). This is because those who are ready to settle down also find the idea of a permanent home more appealing. For those who are planning to have children or already have children, having more space to raise a family is also ideal.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that married or long-time couples don’t rent. In fact, there are still a lot of couples, particularly newlyweds, who may be more amenable to renting a condo rather than buying a house. Still, it has to be said that buying a house is an option that appeals more to people who are ready to settle down.
You Can Pay for It
Buying a house means spending a lot of money and not many people are prepared to shell out such a huge amount. Compare this to renting, where the most you have to shell out would be two to three months advance and deposit. Therefore, those who are more financially stable may prefer to buy rather than rent a property.
Those who don’t have millions ready to spend don’t need to worry, though. For example, you can go to a bank and avail a housing loan to help fund your purchase. Just make sure that you have all the requirements ready; a good credit standing will also help in increasing your chances of approval.
You Have a Means to Travel
Many housing developments are located outside Metro Manila, particularly in Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna. If your workplace and your children’s schools are located in the Metro, it’s ideal to have a vehicle so you can travel more easily—that, or you have to prepare yourself for long hours of commuting.
You Want Full Control About Upgrades and Renovations
The thing about renting is that while you can personalize your space, you don’t always have full control. Most of the time, you also need to ask for permission from the owner or the building administrator. Even then, you may have some limitations.
When you own the property, especially if you’re building from the ground up and not buying from a developer, you’ll have all the freedom you want. You can renovate and customize your home from top to bottom, inside and out the way you want because it’s all yours.
Renting May Be Better If…
As previously mentioned, there are also couples who prefer renting. However, single, young professionals who prefer the freedom of renting. You also likely don’t need a lot of space if you’re single, which means a studio-type apartment or condo will be more than enough.
You’re Not Yet Committed to a Place
In relation to the previous point, renting gives more freedom. If you aren’t “committed” to a location yet, you can transfer to another area much more quickly. In fact, some places only require you to rent for a minimum of six months. When you buy a home, you’re essentially rooted to that place. You can certainly sell or have the place rented, but it might take a little longerbefore you see the results.
If you have a temporary job or if you have more long-term plans elsewhere, then renting is really the best option. Newcomers to a city or town who want to “test” if the location is right for them will also benefit from renting first before committing to a more permanent residence.
Your Budget Can Only Accommodate Rental Fees
Again, buying a house costs a lot of money. Moreover, maintenance costs such as repairs also fall on your shoulders if you own the property. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend at the moment (and don’t want to take out a loan), then renting is definitely better.
Of course, you also have additional expenses such as association fees when you rent. However, the overall costs are likely going to be lower, especially if you live alone. It’s also easier to split costs with a roommate if you’re renting a condo unit or apartment.
As you can see, there is no clear “winner” of the buy-versus-rent debate. Everything depends on what you need, what you want, and what you can afford at the moment. In the end, what matters is you have a safe place to stay.