Rent or Buy?

While at a coffee shop a few weeks ago, a few of my friends were trying to tackle this very question – should they continue to rent or should they buy?

I would argue that we are living in the best time to purchase Real Estate.  Interest rates are at historic lows, home values have been on the decline for the past 3 years in most markets, but does that mean you should buy just because you can afford to?

Is home ownership all it is cracked up to be?  Is there a way to own and rent?

I explore the outcome of the conversation with my friends as well as some of these other questions in my recent post on 20smoney.com.

I’ve linked to it below for your reference, please let me know your thoughts either on the 20smoney page or below in the comments section…thanks!!!

To Rent or To Buy. . .(link to article)

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Comments

  1. Pete D says:

    Good post. I rent now and live 2 blocks from ocean in Newport Beach. Am surrounded by multi-million homes and I pay $1400 a month( I got a good deal!) for a 2 bedroom duplex unit.

    I am looking to buy investment property in inland OC and the IE.

    I would like to buy multi family but cap rates still seem to be high (Granted I have been only looking at the MLS). Mostly 6-7 caps in OC and 7-8 caps in IE. Have you found this the case to be in LA?

    • Arthur Garcia says:

      Pete,

      Congrats on the sweet deal – I love Newport! I would say your best bet is the IE. There are some really good deals out there. I own one multi family, but I actually prefer single family homes. I find that I can usually get a better quality tenant (in my market) and have less time-consuming problems. I don’t mind taking a little less cash flow if the renters take care of the property.

      I don’t buy in LA and I don’t encourage you to either. The locations where the numbers make sense aren’t areas I want to visit (warzones). Hit me up via email – artieag81 (a) gmail.com and I’ll be happy to share more info about the IE and the market I buy in.

  2. Nick says:

    Nice article. I believe strongly, after owning 3 units myself, that I will continue to investment in income-generating property…however I believe I will rent the house I decide to live in. Why?

    1. My American dream is about living comfortably, and I do not need to tell people for vanity’s sake that I own my own house.
    2. With income property, your tenants pay for not only the mortgage, but the property taxes and insurance (they of course do not know they are paying, but it is part of their rent). When you own your own home, you are responsible for it ALL. When you rent, you do not have to worry about the extra costs, nor do you have to worry about other issues that take up TIME (repairs, maintenance, tenant problems, etc.)

    Who knows if my strategy will change, but after owning my investment property for about 6 months now, I understand that costs do add up. Luckily I am in an investment property, and not my own home. Some people do appreciate doing the work themselves, and having the sense of accomplishment when owning their own place. I tend to think that it just eats into my margins…all a matter of preference!

    Best,

    Nick

    • David says:

      Nick,

      How did you know what area to buy in when you bought your properties? Did you work with a real estate agent? I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing, but I’ve been scared to take the jump. Do you have any advice?

  3. Arthur Garcia says:

    Nick,

    You have some great points – you are in fact the investor I was referencing in the latter part of this post -kudos! I think your strategy is brilliant. In fact, you were the inspiration that made me sell my primary home so I could use the equity to buy more rentals while I rent an apartment.

    The flexibility and security you have in having multiple tenants financing your lifestyle is truly unique to real estate. This is one of the many reasons i love it so much!

    I agree with your first point. Many times people make purchases, especially Real Estate, for the sake of vanity. Although I would agree there is definately a pride that comes with owning, I think people in early part of their lives are better served focusing on acquiring income-producing assets vs one nice house – just my take!

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