Moving to Westchester, NY? Should You Rent or Buy?

If you are planning on moving to Westchester, one of the first things you will need to do is decide whether renting and buying a home is right for you. The decision is not always a simple one. Just to get you started, here are some factors to consider:

Potential Costs of Renting in Westchester

Many people assume that renting is the cheaper route, but this may not always be true. There are some significant costs to consider, and owning a home may be actually be the more cost-effective alternative. For instance, before you can even move into a rental, you will need to make a security deposit, which is typically one to two months worth of rent. You will also have to pay this on top of your first month's rent.  You may also be asked to pay the cost of rental insurance. If you are a pet owner, you will need to pay an additional pet deposit. However, if your landlord finds no damage to the property or no need for any significant repairs, your security deposit will be returned at the end of your lease agreement/when you move out.

Potential Costs of Buying a Home

Buying a home in Westchester requires cash for the down payment. You will also need to account for the closing costs as well. Some lenders require a full 20 percent of the cost of the house as the down payment, not including the closing costs. Once you are in the home, you will have to pay for the mortgage each month, in addition to the property taxes, insurance and homeowner's association fees. You will also be responsible for all upkeep and maintenance on the property.

When it comes time to move out, you will have to take on the costs of selling the property. If you have lived in the home long enough to build up some equity, then these costs can be covered by that equity. However, if you do not have any equity, you will have to cover these costs yourself. Since the seller is responsible for covering the real estate agent fees on the sale of Westchester real estate, you want to make sure now that you won't end up having to sell the home any time soon.

Other Considerations to Make

If you know you will be moving again in the near future, renting rather than buying Westchester real estate might be a better option.  Because it is easier, and often cheaper, to leave a rental home than a home you own, it makes more financial-sense to buy a home only if you plan on living in it for at least 3-5 years.

You will also want to consider your job security. If you know you will have a steady source of income in the Westchester area for the long term, then buying a home in Westchester can be a great investment opportunity for you. Finally, consider whether or not privacy is a major concern for you. If your rental is not a single-family home, you will have to share a wall with another tenant, which really tampers with the amount of privacy you can enjoy.

Ultimately, making the decision about whether to rent or buy a house inWestchester comes down to what makes the most sense for your current situation. Buying gives you the freedom to make decisions about the property without answering to a landlord. What's more, you are able to build equity on your own home by paying off your mortgage every month rather than making payments to a landlord.  However, in many ways renting can be the cheaper and more flexible alternative if you are planning on a short-term stay in Westchester. Make the decision that is right for you before you begin the search for Westchester real estate. 

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