Although for a long time renting, as opposed to buying property, has been favoured by the citizens of many European countries, the UK has tended to prefer ownership to tenancy. This is understandable on the basis that at the end of a mortgage period, most people will have acquired their most valuable asset and they or their relatives will benefit from any subsequent sale. Such was the traditional view in many respects. However, these days there have been significant changes in the property market that call into question the old accepted advantages and supposed disadvantages of renting versus buying. Here are a few examples of what to consider, particularly if you’re part of a couple planning a family:

Renting your home

On the plus side, the quality and range of rented accommodation is nowadays better than ever before. Many rents are well below mortgage levels, and bills for your property will be more predictable, as they won’t include sorting out any structural problems or major maintenance items, which are the responsibility of the property owner. Renting is also a flexible option – should you decide to live elsewhere it is easier and quicker to move on, rather than having to wait for your home to be sold, so that you can afford to buy another.

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Buying your home

The obvious plus side to buying a home is the fact that your investment, over time, will mature so that you will eventually have a valuable asset – likely to be worth much more than the purchase price for which you bought it. You have the freedom to improve and maintain your home to suit your own needs, for example to create a nursery or add additional rooms, within reason, which is not an option for tenants of rented property unless the owner gives permission. Sometimes, in any case, it’s cheaper to buy than to rent.

Along comes baby…

First of all, ask yourself if the new arrival will fundamentally change the way you live – and you might be surprised to find that the answer may be yes as well as no. Of course, space will become an issue eventually, although not immediately, so if you don’t have a spare room you need to consider how to remedy this, and the respective implications of either buying or renting a new home. If renting a property is to your taste, make sure you consult a reputable agent, such as Belvoir Lincoln, and if you decide to buy, think of the likely long-term needs of the whole, possibly extended family when choosing a property.

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There are those who say a baby should change your life, but not dominate it, and that’s worth remembering when it comes to making a decision about how, where and in what kind of home you will live. If the flexibility and the financial arrangements of renting suit you, then maybe you should stick with it. If you’re desperate to have a permanent base, then look carefully at mortgage options before you decide to buy.