To Rent or To Buy? That is the Question.

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Written by Ennise Williams

Did you know that you can buy a four bedroom single-family home for less than you are currently paying in rent? Did you also know that if you are paying more than $1,100 per month in rent, then you should definitely consider buying a home? And did you know that in some areas, especially in the East Valley, near certain coveted school districts, rental home rates can climb to over $1,500 per month?! Bear with me folks, I promise I’m going somewhere with this Q&A!

My primary service as an entrusted real estate professional is to be an advisor, consultant, and educator to my clients and potential future clients in our communities. But inevitably, sometimes us Realtors have to be the bearers of bad news too!

In this particular case, the bad news I recently had to deliver was having to tell four different clients who came to me expressing an interest in rental properties that: “I’m sorry, but there simply aren’t enough rental homes available in your price range and desired location.” And if there are, the competition is so stiff, that there are at least 10 other offers on the home within one or two days on the market, or many times, before it even hits the market. Many tenants are willing to rent sight unseen just to get into a good neighborhood!

So what’s one to do, you ask? Take back the power, and be purposeful with where you are investing your hard-earned dollars, and consider buying a home instead of renting! It’s been said that moving and buying a home is one of the most emotional decisions a person can make in their lives. And trust me it can be. But realizing the American Dream of homeownership can also be a very empowering experience that provides peace of mind and financial security in the long run.

Indeed there may be times when renting does make sense for certain clients, but often times buying is a better solution and makes more financial sense. If you are able to spend in excess of $1,100 per month on rent; or if you are renting a property, but can afford the high car payment on a luxury car with no appreciation, then you might actually be a better candidate to stop renting, and move towards home ownership, and realize the tax benefits and wealth-building opportunities that home ownership can provide.

For example, of the four rental clients I mentioned, who each “assumed” they weren’t in a position to buy a home just yet; after a thorough consultation helping them analyze their current financial picture (with the help of my trusted mortgage partner), it turns out that two of them actually did qualify to buy a home right now and won’t have to rent any longer! Many people are simply unaware of the qualification process and how simple it can be.

Now is an time to explore home ownership options, even perhaps to acquire an additional property as an investment if you are already a homeowner. Especially in our current market where mortgage interest rates are very low; and per my last column here, there are federal and state grant programs available to provide substantial (and free) down payment assistance of up to $20,000 for homebuyers.

It never hurts to explore your options; and the no-cost consultation and pre-qualification process is as simple as a phone call or two, and a one-day turnaround to determine your individual scenario and needs. So, if you aspire to purchase a primary residence or an investment rental property, either here in Arizona or nationwide, I’d love the opportunity to assist you in achieving your real estate goals! I’m here to help!

Ennise Williams is a licensed Realtor® having served buyers and sellers in the Phoenix metro area since 2004. Connect with Ennise at 480-239-1321 or email RealtorEnnise@

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