Condominiums: Rent vs. Buy

So you’re looking to retire and/or downsize. You’ve labored over your property’s acreage for years, dusted rooms you never even sat in and have far more boxes of “stuff” cluttering closets than you’d like to admit.

Or, maybe you’re a young professional, wise not to bite off more than you can chew. You’ve considered the financial strains many Americans are experiencing, thanks to the keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, and you’re not interested in that stress.

You’ve concluded that condos fit your search criteria best, but now you face the question of whether to rent or buy.

Here to guide you in your decision making is John Meeder. Meeder is the owner of Meeder Development and Meedcor Realty in Lancaster, Pa. The company was founded in 1984 to develop, market and manage real estate.

-Flexibility: If you are unsure of whether condo living is the right move, then renting offers the luxury of a trial period. Most rented condominiums only require a one year lease agreement. Unlike purchasing a condominium, the commitment is not as binding.

-Keep money in your pocket: Maybe your occupation could take you to another city in a year or you don’t need a second bedroom for a kid in tow just yet.


On the other side of the spectrum, you are not ready to move into a retirement community yet, In a rental agreement, you can save the upfront costs associated with purchasing a home. No matter the transition you may be in, renting a condominium will cost virtually the same as a mortgage without the long term commitment on your bank account.

-Maintenence: Lawns have become a prized, status symbol in America but at the same time they suck away our weekends and we groan over their maintenance. Living in a condominium eleviates the stress of property maintenance. Grant it, you’ll be in charge of whatever container gardening you choose to do on personal baclonies but you can always rely on a welcoming estate taken care of by building managers. Condominium living most often gaurentees this service but the difference in maintaining a rental property and that which you own is the interior maintenance. You don’t need to figure out the plumbing or heatining issue because its already covered.

To re-cap:
Should you rent or buy? A list of considerations taken from CNN Money. (

The buy-rent calculation is just one part of the decision-making process. Other factors include:
• How long you plan to stay. If you’re not keeping the home for several years, transactional costs of buying and selling (e.g; commissions, closing costs) can wipe out any buying edge.
• Whether you have cash for closing. It’s not easy to find banks willing to lend more than 80% of the cost of a home. That means buyers have to come up with 20% down, plus closing costs. On a $200,000 home, that’s $40,000.
• Whether you can cover all the homeownership costs. It’s not just the mortgage: There are property taxes, insurance, heat, utilities and regular maintenance.
• Whether you can claim the tax advantages of homeownership. Mortgage interest is deductible and can shave a lot off tax bills but this benefit accrues mostly to high income earners with substantial mortgage payments. Many borrowers claim the standard deduction on their taxes and so derive no savings from the deduction.