Tiffany Maberry

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, at least for the Apartment Guide team. Renters are making tough decisions about whether to stay put in their current apartment, or move on to a bigger and better abode.


It’s natural to assume that after a few years of renting, you’re automatically ready to take on the title of homeowner. But you might need to slow your roll before you’re in too deep. Are you really ready to own a home? Like, really? Below, we outline a few reasons why you might need to renew that apartment lease.

benefits of renting vs. buying

  1. Bad credit. Do you have a history of late or missed payments on your loans or credit accounts? This track record is one of the first factors that mortgage lenders take into account. They want to see how responsible you are when it comes to paying your debts, which usually is a good indicator of how you’ll do with a mortgage. If bad credit is looming over your head, take the time to correct any errors and get back in good standing with your creditors before contacting any lenders.

  1. You’re drowning in debt. Do you cringe each month when shelling out money for car payments, student loans and credit card bills? If your debts are devouring your paycheck, adding a mortgage into the mix would not be wise. Once you can pay those debts down and have some disposable income left over, that will be a better time to re-evaluate your transition from renting to owning.

  1. You have no rainy day fund. One benefit of renting is that when something goes wrong in your apartment, the landlord or maintenance professional is there to save the day. As a homeowner, the opposite is true. From toilet leaks and termites to broken water heaters, you must foot the bill yourself. With no savings, an unexpected disaster could be a major budget buster. Here’s one way to look at it: If your roof started leaking one month after buying your home, would you have the funds to repair it with no problem? If not, your dream of homeownership should be put on hold until you do.

Read more:
Reasons to Renew Your Lease

Can You Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit?
5 Economic Factors That Favor the Perma-Renter 

Great Reasons to Stay Put in an Apartment
Know How to Renew a Lease

  1. You have no money for a down payment. Mortgage requirements vary by state and by lender. Even if you have great credit, you'll typically be required to shell out a down payment of at least 20 percent. If your money is funny, you can expect to pay even more. So for a modest $100,000 home, you’d have to pay at least $2,000 out of pocket before they even hand you a key. If you don’t have that kind of cash on hand, you are not ready to own a home.

  1. You only have enough money for a down payment. So, let’s say you do have a few thousand dollars in savings. Are you willing to spend your savings on a down payment and immediately be left with nothing? If not, continue to grow your savings until a down payment doesn’t completely wipe out your bank account.

  2. Your income or job situation is unstable. If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that no job is 100 percent guaranteed forever. Whether you're a freelancer working on a project-by-project basis or you hold down a full-time position, you should feel very confident with your career and income before looking for a home. Just remember that if your income ever disappears, it will be much easier to get out of an apartment lease than to try selling your house.

  1. You can’t seem to stay put. People move around for lots of logical reasons. Folks graduate, change jobs and start families all the time. Some people just get bored and need a change of scenery. If you’re prone to moving regularly, owning a home wouldn’t be the best transition. A better idea might be to rent an apartment in the neighborhood that you’d like to eventually buy in. That way you’ll already be familiar with the area when it’s time to start looking for that dream home!

If you’re ready to make the jump into your very first house, congratulations. Even if you’re not, turn that frown upside down. You may not be able to buy now, but homeownership can still be a future goal!




About The Author

Tiffany Maberry is a content contributor for the Apartment Guide Blog. She's been writing professionally for over 10 years and enjoys working in the social media space. Find Tiffany on Google+.