Renting vs Buying: Taking a Look at the UK Housing Market

Whether in Canada, the US or the UK, renting versus buying has always made for a heated debate within the real estate community and renters and buyers alike.

Though many want to prove that one is better than the other, the reality is that it’s about what works best for you. While many want to own something of their own, others find the freedom of renting to be a better fit for their lifestyle. So today, we will examine the pros and cons of both to help find what works best for you.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company


House Hunting: Advantage Renting

When looking for a place that fits your needs for space and aesthetics, renting and owning pretty much break even. Now here’s where renting probably wins out.

While you need to make sure you’re not living in something that will fall down, when moving into a rental, you don’t have to take the same time and care that you would buy that same place.

Inspections, checks, approvals, from the foundation right up to the chimney, when buying a home, you need to have the entire building inspected to make sure you aren’t buying something that will collapse, have major structural issues or may have ongoing electrical or plumbing problems.

As a homeowner, these things need to be examined much more closely, where a renter would have to pay attention to any significant issues, the time and effort involved in much less for a potential renter.


Moving in and Making it Your Own: Advantage Buying

It changes from country to country region to region. Still, for the most part, renters need written permission from the owner to make significant changes to an apartment or home. Some places need verbal permission to make any minor cosmetic changes like painting or are responsible for painting it back before they leave.

A homeowner may do whatever they like to their home, as long as they have the proper permits and permissions to do so, which means that buyers have the advanced on this one, and for more minor updates like changes to the walls, floors, most probably need no outside approval before diving right in.

Be sure to check current rates for those who need a mortgage, and find the product, institutions and terms that work best for you.


The Money: Advantage Buying (but not for all)

If everyone could be approved for a mortgage, then buying would always win, and also, if rates were lower, but as it stands, many can’t get approved or can’t come up with the money needed to make a down payment.

The obvious advantage to buying is that you’ll eventually own it and thus have a property you can sell, borrow against, or even rent. The choice is yours. Ironically, it might be cheaper to buy and pay mortgage payments than rent in some cases. For example, if you’re in the UK, you can calculate your potential payments based on the home you want or budget. You have to get an idea of what you’d pay for a potential place if buying, and then find something similar for rent and compare. The reality is if you can buy. It will cost less. Why not take that route if you can? Since rent is rapidly increasing across the UK, now might be the time to crunch the numbers.

If you are in the UK, checking if you’re eligible for the Help to Buy Scheme might be advantageous to help those who are having issues securing the proper financing to acquire their desired home.


The Freedom: Advantage Renting

When it comes to moving from one place to another, renting is easy in and out in most cases. Selling involves a lot more effort unless you are rich or fortunate. Besides, renting comes with the freedom from not having to worry about replacing things when they break or worrying about upkeep. As long as you keep the place clean and report any issues when they happen, the majority of the responsibility falls on the owner, as it should.


We aren’t here to decide what’s better, renting or owning, but, we hope with the info we shared today, we might be able to help you determine what works best for you in your current age and stage, whatever that may be.



Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!