01/29/14 1:32pm

Property For Rent

To rent or buy. This is a topic swirling among my 30-something friends and seems to be in constant discussion.

Based on a brief survey CandysDirt.com conducted on a group of 25 to 40 year olds, results showed that 25 to 30 year olds are significantly more likely to rent compared to any other age group surveyed. This information provided me with a resounding “duh.” This age group is made up primarily of college graduates and young adults just starting out. As one renter put it, I’m a “recent college graduate who makes below poverty level.” Which is shown by 40 percent of our renters paying less than $1,000 a month in rent.

Other reasons people choose to rent include:

  • Lower-than-average rental rates
  • Mobility, or plans to move for various reasons
  • You are in an astoundingly expensive housing market such as Malibu or Breckenridge

The downsides of renting begin with the security deposit. Although most are returned after the contract has ended, it is out-of-pocket money. The yearly costs of rent and renter’s insurance also stack up the price. Opportunity costs can put renters behind when they eventually go for their first home purchase since they haven’t been building credit and investing in a property.

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But what about FHA loans? Won’t that help renters get some momentum with the more conventional loan process? Yes and no. Down payments with a FHA can be as high as 10 percent, which is still difficult for our under 35 group. These loans also prove more difficult when it comes to choosing a home for purchase. The limitations on the maximum purchase price have made it more difficult for some buyers to even qualify in more expensive housing markets, or highly sought-after ones such as the Park Cities.

According to our survey, 35-40 year olds are twice as likely to buy rather than rent, that is, if they can qualify for a loan. September 2013 data from Zillow, reports that three out of 10 Americans are unlikely to qualify for mortgages. Typically, the better mortgage rates are kept for borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher. Only around 40 percent of Americans fall into that category.

On the flip-side, if you’re able to secure a mortgage and purchase your home, the yearly costs, including maintenance and improvement, can be substantial. Wait, you have a new job and need to move? Now to sell your home. People who use a Realtor will pay as much as 10 percent of the selling price in costs associated with selling. Let’s add on the cost of the inspection and a pre-sale facelift. Have out your calculator? Relocation costs, and exactly how long will you be sitting on that home of yours?

Regardless of age, 55 percent of those surveyed are putting their money into a home as an investment rather than renting. Owning provides more stability and an opportunity to accrue equity. Of those surveyed, most responded that they would rather put their time and money into a home that is theirs. An obvious conclusion. As a 30-something myself, I am not at all surprised by the narrow gap. Renting provides more flexibility for entrepreneurs, families with small children, and frequent travellers or jet-setters.

Renting may seem to be a waste of money to some, but there can be lower maintenance required as well as a welcome tax break. With loan qualifications like they are, some would love to buy but just aren’t able to. Renting becomes one of the only option and also requires less commitment.

Of course, you could always move in with your parents …

photo (26)Candace Tharp is a real estate-obsessed former food writer who has blogged about tacos, cupcakes, and haute cuisine before joining the team at CandysDirt.com. Have an interesting story to share? Contact her at candacetharp@hotmail.com.

01/23/14 1:18pm

photo (26)My name is Candace Tharp, and I’m addicted to Dallas.

I was born here and grew up loving the classics — Keller’s Drive-In, the Dallas Arboretum, and DMA. My love for the area amplified as I started raising my own little family in East Dallas.

After studying Journalism and Child Development at Ouachita Baptist University, I began writing. My personal blog, The Junk Foodie, exposes the hidden gems of Dallas; the tucked away, amazing finds that make our city so unique. In 2008, I began producing restaurant reviews for Advocate Magazine because food is a passion of mine. From Barbec’s to Fearing’s Restaurant, I love it all.

I provided readers with a raw and honest approach to the quality of food and the experience surrounding it. The environment and décor in which food is presented greatly affects the experience. Take Acme in Highland Park for example. Their farmhouse industrial interior features lamps made of meat grinders, which makes it the best place to have chicken and dumplings in my opinion. In 2010, I created the website Know It All Housewives which is a small collection of SAHMs (stay at home moms, for those not in the business) with opinions on everything from SPANX to bubble making.

And now, after years of being food-obsessed, I have switched gears to real estate. My passion for historical homes landed me on Swiss Avenue. I am an avid estate sale shopper with interests in a home’s complete story, current and past residents, quirks, and decor. I religiously volunteer for the Swiss Avenue Home Tour, but spend most of my time chatting with the homeowners about paint colors and interior designers.

With two homes in Dallas and an East Texas lake house while in my 30s, I’d say I am real estate obsessed. Needless to say, after meeting Candace Evans and Jo England, I am ecstatic to be working with CandysDirt.com sharing my “30-something’” perspective on real estate in the Big D.

Have tips on historic homes, estate sales, and home decor? Email me at candacetharp@hotmail.com.