To Buy or Rent….that is the question!

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It’s one of those major questions you’re bound to ask yourself at some point and probably the biggest decision from a financial standpoint you’re going to make. The answer though isn’t always a simple one, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration. Ultimately, your decision will be based on what makes the most financial as well as emotional sense for your particular situation.

There is a general belief that owning a home is the ultimate goal, the key to the “American Dream.” And while there are many great reasons to support this thinking, numerous pros and cons should be weighed before signing on the dotted line. And regardless of whether you’re a first time home buyer or a repeat purchaser, be sure to ask yourself a few important questions before contacting a real estate agent to get started.

Thinking about buying, consider the following…

Pros

  • Building equity over time which creates stability and security for your family

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  • Tax benefits – great news, now you can deduct many home-related expenses
  • Potential for rental income
  • More creative freedom – you won’t need to ask anyone’s permission (well maybe your spouse) before tackling a new project
  • Unlimited pets (if you want) – there isn’t a no pet policy when you own your own home

Cons:

  • Potential for financial loss
  • Responsible for all maintenance and repairs

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  • Higher upfront costs

Considering renting…

Pros

  • You’re not responsible for maintenance and repairs
  • No real estate taxes to pay
  • No large down payment
  • Credit requirements are less strict
  • Some utilities might be included in the rental agreement
  • Relocating is easier

Cons

  • No chance to earn equity on your property
  • No tax benefits
  • Limited housing security

Regardless of whether you buy or rent these costs you just can’t escape!

Buying

  • Down payment
  • Home appraisal fee
  • Home inspection fee
  • Property tax
  • 1st years homeowners insurance
  • Any additional closing cost fees

Recurring costs

  • Mortgage loan payments
  • Property taxes
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – if you put down less than 20% of the purchase price you’ll have this added monthly payment

Renting

  • Security Deposit
  • First month’s rent
  • Moving Costs

Recurring Costs:

  • Monthly rent
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Utilities (sometimes, certain utilities are included in the rental fee)
  • Laundry (not all rentals offer washer/dryer hookups)

As you’re going down your checklist, consider the following questions

  1. How long do you plan to stay? – The longer you anticipate you’ll be there the better off you are buying. Buying and selling a home requires a good deal of time and money so take that into consideration if you plan to stay less than five years.

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  1. Would you be happy staying longer than planned? – For first time home buyers, the idea of a starter home sounds great, but what if the time comes when you’re ready to sell and it’s not a sellers’ market? Or other unforeseen circumstances arise and you are unable to move when you thought you would?
  2. How stable is your job and your life? – If things both professionally and personally are not stable you might want to reconsider locking yourself into a big financial commitment at the moment.
  3. How do the monthly costs compare? – Do the math and be realistic. Consider all of the monthly costs that go along with owning verse renting.
  4. Do you have enough money for a down payment? – Sure you can get away with putting down less than 20% but that means you’ll be paying PMI along with a higher mortgage payment. Plus, sellers might choose offers with higher down payments and less contingencies.
  5. Do you have savings to pay for repairs? – All homes require repairs at some point, regardless of whether they’re brand new or not. If you’re leaning towards purchasing make sure you have some extra cash in your account for any unforeseen occurrences.

Whatever route you choose, finding the best real estate agent will help make either process as smooth and efficient as possible.

Father-Friendly Festivities

This Sunday is all about dad! You don’t have to go far this Father’s Day to treat dad to a special day or night out. Dad deserves the best and you’ll find it in Brooklyn.


13391409_10153811598516925_7416719120440159209_oA Jazzy Hook
Does your dad think he’s a musical maestro? This weekend the Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival takes place for the second consecutive Sunday at Urban Meadow and will feature the rich and diverse sounds of sax, trumpet, trombone and more in a community garden setting. Now in its ninth year, the concert will feature some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world – dad is guaranteed to be impressed! The incredible lineup of cutting-edge music features Jeff Davis Authorities Trio + 1, Matt Pavolka Horns Band, Ari Hoenig Group, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Bobby Previte & the Visitors. Bring dad’s grand-kids because all kids attend for free!
19 President Street. 1-6pm. $10 per person suggested donation.

 

Markets with your Makerwallet
Haven’t got dad a gift yet? Brooklyn Makers Market has you covered. The biggest bazaar of Brooklyn-made goods, you’ll find crafts, furniture, knits and more, plus enticing eats to fuel your shopping endeavors. The showcase of creations coming straight outta Brooklyn takes place at the beautiful, historic Williamsburg Savings Bank this Saturday and Sunday. Built in 1875 this architectural landmark is the perfect setting to celebrate creativity and entrepreneurship in the borough. Once you’ve shopped the best of Brooklyn, head across the street to our next pick.
175 Broadway. From 11am. Free.

 

ph_008Steak Out
Does dad love a good steak? What about a GREAT steak? Adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge, the famous Peter Luger steakhouse has been serving superb steak since 1887. Rated the top steakhouse in New York for 28 years and running, the restaurant has earned a Michelin Star and joined the ranks of American classics. The steakhouse serves only USDA Prime, which often represents less than 2% of graded beef cattle. To ensure the highest quality of meat and in keeping with tradition, the meat selection process is performed by members of the family-owned establishment. Dad will love the charm of the beer-hall style eatery, with well-worn wooden floors and tables and waiters in waist coats and bow ties. Call 718-387-7400 to make a reservation.
178 Broadway. From 12:45-9:45pm (Sundays). $99.95 for steak for two.

 

Bowl So Hardbowl
Is dad competitive? This one will be right up his alley! Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg is hosting Father’s Day Family Bowl on Sunday. Book a lane, buy dad a beer, and get your bowl on. Just remember to go easy on the old man – it is his day after all! Art and music activities will be presented by The Rock and Roll Playhouse. The event is all ages, all day and night, so bring the whole family. Acclaimed food will be available by NYC’s Blue Ribbon, as well as local brews and more! When you need a break from striking those pins, kick back in large leather sofas upstairs in the Bowlers Lounge. Game on!
61 Wythe Avenue. 12-3pm. $25 per lane per half hour, $4.95 shoe rental.