Rents are up. Homeownership is down. So does that mean it’s better to rent or buy? That depends.

Apartment List’s June 2019 Charlotte Rent Report shows the cost of renting in Charlotte is up 2.2% from the same time last year. Nationwide, rents are up 1.5% from a year ago. The median rent in Charlotte is now $1,140 for a 2 bedroom. The Charlotte Business Journal breaks down some of the numbers here.

Homeownership has long been a symbol of the American Dream. But many younger people are deciding that dream can wait, opting to rent. In fact, U.S. Homeownership rates fell to a 48 year low earlier this year.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your lifetime. It’s important to assess how you want to live and how much you can afford when determining whether renting or buying is your best option.

First of all, you should meet 2 criteria before you should even consider buying a home. 

  • Do you have reliable income, good credit, and documentation to verify your savings?
  • Can you afford at least a 3% down payment and related closing costs?

If the answer to those questions is YES then consider this.


If you want the ability to pick up and go, or aren’t sure what part of town you want to call home, then clearly renting makes more sense. But you won’t be able to redo that outdated kitchen if you are renting. Homeowners have the flexibility to do what they want with the
property. We’ll call that a tie.

Financial Incentive:

On average U.S. homeowners pay almost 33% less than renters if they take a 30-year mortgage, pay taxes and spend money on the house maintenance. When it comes to taxes, there’s no doubt it’s a win for home ownership. Property taxes and mortgage-interest costs, while significant, are tax deductible. There are no tax deductions for renters except in some very specific circumstances. Buying tends to be a better option if you plan to stay in the same place for at least 5 years because the upfront fees are spread out over many years.


There are a lot of expenses homeowners face that renters do not directly pay (painting, air-conditioning/heating problems, etc.) Some renters also don’t have to worry about mowing, or maintaining the property. Score one for the renters.

Owning a home is a rewarding experience as long as you understand what you are getting into and make a sound financial decision when buying. Ask yourself “What are your financial, career and family goals?” then see which option fits best.

If you aren’t sure which is right for you, call one of our agents and they can walk you through some various options.