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How to make the ever difficult choice: Should you rent or buy?

Deciding whether to rent or to buy is always a tricky choice, especially for those who are just moving out. Some might say that if you feel you can afford to buy a house, than you should definitely do so. Others say that in every situation, renting is a less risky prospect, and in these difficult times you can't afford to take a big risk. Whether you're a first time buyer or not, you've got to admit, there are advantages to both options, and it's left to you to make the final choice. All I can do is offer guidance;RentObviously, if you're on a very tight budget, renting is the better option – there's no argument here. You don't have to take out any loans or work out other financial methods, renting is an inexpensive solution. But that's not the only upside; by renting, you can also feel less tied down, because you only need to commit to a short-term rental contract rather than a long term mortgage. The property market is also pretty much meaningless to you if you rent – you don't have to worry about depreciation.For those who like to experience new homes on a semi-regular basis, renting is an even better idea – once your contract with your tenant is up, it's up to you if you wish to re-sign, if you want to move away then it's easy. It couldn't be any less tied down. Renting is a risk free, low maintenance living solution to those who don't mind sharing a flat.BuyBut what if you don't want to share a flat? What if you want a more private life? Then taking the plunge and buying a property is the better solution. Sure it's more risky, but there's more potential rewards to reap. House prices can go up as well as down, so by buying, you're not only getting a home, you're also making a financial investment. A house of your own also has more space, with potential for expansion. If you were to rent, you're pretty much stuck with what you have.Not only that, but buying a home is more personal. Redecorating is easier, and the only rules and restrictions are those put in place by the law, not by a land lord. There's more financial worries to take on if you buy your own house, but there are too many upsides to simply ignore. It's a tough choice indeed, each side has their fair share of advantages. Buying is a risky but rewarding process that's tailor made for those who want to become ingrained in a community. Renting is a safer situation to be in, but may neccessitate moves on a frequent basis. The way I see it, if you can only afford to rent, then it's the obvious choice. It's also good for those who live alone and don't own many possessions, so moving home will be a relative breeze. If, however, you have dreams of starting a family, and you want to actually settle down, property buying is a far better long term solution.