5.1.3 Reasons to rent or own

The buy or rent calculator from the Autorité des marchés financiers cannot compute the key factors for many homeowners—the intangible values attached to owning your own home.

  • Owning your home can give you:
    • a feeling of security, pride of ownership and attachment
    • the feeling of being an established and successful part of your community
    • independence from eviction and a land owner's choices about the future of the property
    • the right to decorate to suit your own tastes and make permanent renovations.
  • Renting, by contrast, can give you:
    • a feeling of independence
    • the ability to move easily to take a new job or pursue social connections
    • freedom from many of the responsibilities of owning and maintaining a home
    • flexibility in how you invest your money.

Use the chart below to mark how important each factor is to you. Give a score for each item depending on whether you think renting or owning is negative, positive or neutral for you.

Non-financial factors regarding buying a home

Score each item as negative (–1), neutral (0) or positive (+1) for you as an owner or renter.

Factor Owner (Score –1, 0 or +1) Renter (Score –1, 0 or +1)
Long-term financial benefits
Short-term financial commitment
Flexibility in investing money
The best investment opportunity for my money
Feeling of security
Feeling of ownership
Feeling of attachment to community
Feeling of independence
Flexibility in moving easily
Freedom from maintenance
Total score 0 0

Your total score is not the final answer to whether you should rent or own, but the chart offers a way to think about how important some of the factors are to you. While the financial calculations are an important factor in any decision to own a home or not, many people will find that the emotions and values they place on owning or renting determine their choices. If you decide to buy your home, this module will help you ensure that the mortgage you select is the best one for your needs. If you choose to rent and invest your savings, the Investing module will help you understand the basics of investing.

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