Buy Or Rent?: Disadvantages Of Buying A Property

For those who have spent their lives renting a property (or a series of properties), many will be looking forward to a day when they can settle down and buy themselves a lovely little place of their own.

Why? Well, as we discussed in last week’s blog ‘Buy Or Rent?: Advantages Of Buying A Property’, there are a great many benefits to owning your own home. Just the words “owning your own home” have a great power to them in themselves. There’s something very reassuring about the idea. Something very right and warm and treacly sweet.

But is it really all that wonderful?

As is so often the case, reality bares a frostier edge than the rainbow kiss of dreams. The idea may sound really quite lovely – and it is – but it does not live and breathe without its fair share of gremlins.

And so, before you leap two feet onto a cloud of romance and stomach churning giddiness, let’s pause for thought and take a look at some of the disadvantages of buying yourself a property. It might not be pretty. It might not be what you want to hear. But…hey…you’ll thank us in the long run.

Property Is Expensive: Have you seen it out there? When you’re talking about big numbers, they rarely come much bigger than those slapped on a house or a flat, particularly in somewhere like Edinburgh. And with house prices in the capital currently travelling on the upward trajectory, you could be talking about quite an eye watering situation. This is going to be one of the biggest financial commitments of your life. Paying the monthly mortgage can be expensive, but it’s not the only cost you’ll have to take into consideration.

Deposit: That’s right! Before a purchase is possible you need to hand over a pretty substantial deposit.  And we’re not talking about a month’s worth of rent here. It can be possible to get a mortgage with 5% of the property value, but it isn’t that common. Generally you’re talking about 10% or even 15%. Bank Of Scotland found that the average deposit paid by a first time buyer in Scotland in 2020 was £35, 745…Yes, you read that right. How’s the old savings account looking?

Maintenance: It’s your home now, so it’s your problem. If the boiler breaks down or a window falls out or, most likely, you find there’s a ghost lurking in the attic (cue wink emoji), then it’s entirely up to you to cough up the big bucks and get it sorted out. There’s no landlord to call up anymore. It’s all down to you. And, if it’s a big property, these sorts of things can be frequent and not at all cheap.

Future Value: There is every chance that the value of your home could go up over time, especially if you put in some top notch improvements. But, then again, there’s every chance that the opposite could happen. None of us can predict the future and the housing market can be a rather fickle creature. If the market takes a nose dive you could find yourself in negative equity, making moving or selling an awful lot harder.

Moving On: If you a renting a property, you tend to have quite a lot of flexibility when it comes to moving on. Got a new job in a new location? No problem! Fancy a change of scenery? Of course! But, if you are a home owner, the situation is a lot more difficult and a whole world more stressful.  It can take a lot of time to sell a place, so think all of this through before you make any big decisions.  Like we’ve said, this is a big commitment. You can’t just up sticks and move on just like that.

Buying can be great. It can be really great. It’s a dream that many of us hold dear and something definitely worth considering now or in the future. But don’t think for a second that it is all plain sailing. If you’re not prepared for everything that will and could happen, the whole process can be a diabolically stressful affair.

Next week, we’ll be taking a look at some of the advantages of renting a property instead.  Are you a renter? What is your experience? Do you prefer the idea of renting over buying, or are you committed to the idea that, one day, you’ll own your own place?

From everyone here at Belvoir Edinburgh, we hope that you are all well and happy. Change seems to be on the way so, hopefully, things will be starting to get a lot better really soon.

Take care. Keep going. And Happy Housekeeping.