Is it better to buy or rent in Charlottesville? It depends on what your goals are. Answer these questions first:
– How long are you planning to be in the Charlottesville area?
– Are you qualified?
– What are your life plans? (do you have kids? Plan to? Will you grow out of the space in under four years?)
– What would the house/house type you’re looking for rent for? What would its mortgage be? ie: if it would rent for $2300/month and the mortgage would be $1500/month, it might make sense to purchase. If the math works the other way around, you might be better off renting.
– Do you know where you want to live?
– Is stability important to you? Is knowing where you’re going to live for more than a year or two important?
If you’re new to the Charlottesville area and are planning to buy a home, please, please, please consider renting first. You’ll be a better educated buyer, consumer and client.
Note: Online mortgage calculators can only get you so far; when you’re serious about looking and possibly buying a home, it’s best to talk to a lender to get pre-approved.
* This post derived from our radio appearance on WNRN on 29 May 2011. It was a good show, and I recommend listening to the whole thing.