Financial Literacy
For Your Future



Should I Rent Or Buy A Place To Live?

This story focuses upon one of those “basic needs”…shelter. Like so many of life’s basic questions, getting a roof over your head is not as simple as it sounds. The reason of course is the question is not whether, we all know that answer is yes, it is how much and how do I pay for shelter that gets tricky. Yes, this decision making procedure is yet another marginal thinking activity. What are the additional expected costs and benefits of owning versus renting and what are the additional expected costs and benefits of smaller versus bigger accommodations.

The weighing of expected costs and expected benefits is complex and personal. That is what makes the decision making process time consuming, but also enjoyable. It forces people to clarify their own values and helps them understand and appreciate what makes them who they are and why they are different from others and that difference is good. One way to start the thinking process about renting or buying shelter is to ask yourself what is the real purpose of your shelter? The answer(s) will help tremendously in making your choices.  Some people, for example, just want to keep the elements out and have a very basic place to live when they have nowhere else to go. Living in a small college dorm room might be a good example of this view. Others perceive their shelter as their “home” and a direct extension of their self, a place where they  want to be to relax, eat, sleep, study, entertain -- you get the picture. Of course, there are literally thousands of views in between these extremes. Where are you on this issue? You need to know what you want or expect from a place to live before you can successfully employ the decision making guide. Remember that you are really making two choices in this case. One is to rent or buy a place to live and the other is how big or extravagant it will be no matter what your rental or buying decision is. It is probably best to focus on the type of structure first because this will influence costs and availability. Rental units may just not be big or extravagant enough to meet your desires and that situation itself may make that decision much easier.

Start the guide and once again it is recommended that you focus a great deal on marginal thinking and comparing your wishes with those of a peer or peers. It is interesting that most people have given their place to live more thought than they might realize so the mental pictures of where you want to live are quite omplete. So where do you want to live? Are you an owner or a renter?

Applications Insights Guide - click here for facts to aid your decision making process

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