To Rent or To Buy, That is The Question

Understanding Fire and Safety Risks

“How long will I be staying at this place?” or “What kind of place can I afford?” are examples of questions people may be asking themselves when they are looking for a place to call home, whether it be temporary or permanent. Another question students have to consider is whether they want to rent an apartment/house or if they want to invest in a house.

Alex Huseinbegovic, a realtor from Bowling Green, said there are many things to consider when students are looking to find a place.

“If you’re looking to find an apartment, I would recommend contacting multiple property management companies.” Huseinbegovic said. “Some advice I’d give you is, you know, rents, They can be negotiable. I’ve negotiated my last three leases to bring the price down, so don’t think it’s a set price, even if it’s $50 to $100 less a month that could be a win.”

Huseinbegovic said that if anyone is looking to purchase a home to make sure they have a good realtor. Some realtors may try to push houses onto their clients, and it’s best to find someone who will always stand in their client’s corner.

Blake Mitchell, a junior from Louisville, rented his first apartment in August 2023. Mitchell said that the process of renting the apartment was straightforward for him and only had a few confusing parts.

“This was my first ever apartment,” Mitchell said. “The confusing part was trying to get my application to reflect my roommate preferences. It would not allow me to correctly select my roommates, so I had to call the office. I was notified later on that I would be accepted.”

Blake Mitchell, a junior from Louisville, rented his first apartment in August 2023. Mitchell chose to rent because of convenience and the ability to save money.

Mitchell said that he chose to rent because of convenience and the ability to save money.

“I do not have the money to buy a house or the furniture to fill it. My current apartment comes fully furnished at a reasonable price. I also do not know where I want to live after college, so signing a one-year lease does not require a lot of commitment.” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that he finds many pros to living in an apartment instead of a house. He said that an apartment is more affordable; paying for utilities is cheaper than purchasing a house and that maintenance has to take care of it if anything breaks.

He said that apartment complexes can come with amenities like pools, gyms and volleyball courts.

Mitchell said that renting an apartment does have cons, such as finding a parking spot or troubling neighbors.

“It can be hard to find a parking spot close to my room,” Mitchell said. “The neighboring apartments can also seem to be making a lot of noise because of the proximity. Finally, when things do break in the apartment, it can take the maintenance a while to fix them because of the numerous residents.”

Rebekah Whittington, a former real estate agent from Bowling Green, said houses can allow someone to have full ownership of the place they live.

“A big pro is having your own property. If you’re building a house you pretty much have the rights to do what you want with that land,” Whittington said.“If oil is found, or diamonds or rubies or if water is tapped, that’s yours; you now own it.”

She said that buying a house could save someone more money in the long run.

“Mortgages do end. So, in the long run, you would save a lot of money on a month-to-month basis, and you would eventually not have a mortgage payment. So it would be like not having to pay rent.” Whittington said.

Whittington said that there are cons to owning a home, such as having to do everything on your own.

“A big con would be the cost of upkeep in the home. Hopefully, you plan for things like the roof leaking or your floor having soft spots or, god forbid, your structural integrity is compromised,” Whittington said. “But, if your roof starts leaking and you don’t have savings, then you know you’re kind of in a pickle there.”

Whittington said that it’s harder to sell a house than it is to wait for a lease to end and move. It can take months for someone to buy a house off the market, not to mention that someone either has to hire a realtor to help them sell or try to sell the home on their own. With an apartment, all someone has to do is wait for their lease to run out.

“Renting you can kind of move when you want. I say that obviously if you’re in a lease you want to try not to break it, but say that you want to move and go somewhere else you don’t like the area you’re in or you just like to try something new, you get a better job offer in a different city,” Whittington said.“It’s much, much easier to just let your lease run out and not renew and then leave than it is to try to sell a house even in a good market.”

The journey of finding one’s own place, whether through renting an apartment or purchasing a home, is filled with considerations that can shape both short-term convenience and long-term financial stability. Ultimately, whether someone opts for the flexibility of renting or the permanence of homeownership, understanding the pros and cons of each path is essential in making a choice that aligns with individual needs and lifestyles.