2012: Is it Better to Rent or Own?

In this struggling economy, many people have lost their jobs and are worried about losing their home to foreclosure.

So the question remains: Are you better off paying rent to a landlord or being tied down to a mortgage? This infographic weighs the pros and cons of each. Which is right for you?

Is It Better To Rent Or Own A House?

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2012: Is it Better to Rent or Own?

Whether you’re afraid to make a big commitment or unsure of the housing market’s stability, it’s never a bad idea to weigh the pros and cons of renting. Instead of running around searching the Internet for reasons to rent or own, look no further than this infographic to tell you useful info to help you make a well-informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Renting


  • Jobless Friendly
    • If you lose your job, the government is more likely to qualify you for state benefits if you’re renting a property.
  • Zero Repair Costs
    • No maintenance or repair costs.
    • You generally aren’t responsible for anything that breaks on the property—unless you broke it, that is.
  • Easy Moving
    • It’s a tough housing market for those looking to sell. No House? No problem.
    • Renting allows you to move after your lease expires and that can be a huge relief for some.
  • Lower Deposits
    • Typically you’ll be liable for, at the most, 3 months rent as a deposit.
    • Houses typically require a 20% down payment up front.
  • Landlords
    • Pro: Landlords can be honest and timely people when it comes to repairs or communication.
    • Con: Occasionally, landlords can be neglectful and untimely, resulting in delayed maintenance or sluggish response times.


  • Insurance
    • The landlord has the house under their coverage.
    • You are still responsible for property-related insurance.
  • No Return On Investment
    • A house is an investment with the ability to appreciate over time.
    • Since you’re not the owner, you won’t gain value from the home you rent.
  • No Customizations
    • Many rental companies and landlords don’t like changes to the house and it could prevent you from hanging pictures on the walls or painting a room.

What You Should Know About Renting-to-Own

  • Cost
    • When you rent-to-own, you’ll typically pay a premium for the lease rather than if you had a normal renting lease.
    • This option is only for those who actually intend to eventually own the house and not for those wishing to just rent the place due to higher rent cost.
  • Static Home Price
    • When signing the lease, you’re agreeing to pay a set amount.
    • This amount depends on the current market price of the home.
    • If you rent-to-buy in a bad housing market, you could stand to gain a great deal when the sector improves.

Pros and Cons of Renting a House versus an Apartment


  • More space in a House
    • If you have pets or a desire for a sprawling lawn, a house may be ideal for you.
    • Should you have very few items and possibly no children, an apartment is a logical choice.
  • Improved Privacy
    • While it isn’t always the case, houses can be a lot more private than your typical apartment complex.
  • Infestation
    • So your neighbor at the house you were renting has a bed bug problem. It surely isn’t a common problem between the two of you.
    • Now imagine that same neighbor with the infestation lives just down the hall and the bugs are often seen crawling along the hallway ceiling.
    • You could have a serious issue within the week.


  • Maintenance
    • Get out the shovels and lawn mower and get ready to tend to the landscaping. Your lease may not cover this kind of work whereas an apartment complex would maintain the yard for you.
  • Professionalism
    • While it isn’t always the case, many private owners lease out houses.
    • On the other hand, a company that has a professional staff that knows the tenancy laws typically owns apartments.

Who’s renting?

  • In 2011, 66% of Americans owned the housing they lived in.
  • The remaining 34% rent their residence.
Age % owning their housing % renting their housing
Under age 30 58 42
30 to 44 years old 64 36
45 to 64 years old 79 21
65 years or older 83 17

What are renters leasing?

  • Single-family homes: 34%
  • Structures with 2 to 4 units: 19%
  • Structures with 5 or more units: 42%
  • Mobile homes: 4%


There could be a variety of enticing perks that come along with renting or owning an apartment or a house, though there are possible challenges ahead in both instances, such as eviction or foreclosure. Don’t shy away from either option, but you should always make an informed decision and consider all the positives in addition to the negatives.

This infographic was brought to you by Total Bankruptcy.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 2:35 pm and is filed under Economic News: How Are We Doing?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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