I get a lot of questions from clients on whether I think they should rent or buy a home. This page was designed to help you decide if renting or buying a home is better for you. I discuss whether or not now is a good time to buy a home, reasons why you should either buy or rent, the average rental prices in Arlington, Virginia, and why there are advantages to renting condos/privately owned units instead of apartment units. If you would like help renting/buying your next home, reach out to me, Blake Davenport, a licensed REALTOR® and local expert via the contact information on the footer of the website.
Renting or Buying in Arlington, Virginia
Is Now A Good Time to Buy A Home?
Renting in Arlington, Virginia can feel like you are wasting huge amounts of money on rent when you could be using it to build equity in a house. However, you might feel like you do not have enough money to buy a house at this time. Well, buying a property might be more realistic than you think. Given the current low interest rates, buying instead of renting might be possible for you. Click on the button below to try Realtor.com's Rent vs. Buy calculator where you can input all the specifics to figure out if buying is actually a better long term answer than renting.
When Should You Buy? When Should You Rent?
Owning a home is the American dream and a symbol of economic well-being. For many, it is a goal that is chased after for so long. If you currently rent and are thinking about the possibility of buying a home, I have compiled a list of reasons on why you should buy and reasons on why you should continue to rent. Please see the reasons below.
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Rent
Uncertain about your job
Uncertain that you want to be in this area for at least 5 years
Do not have enough money for a decent down payment (At least 3%)
Have bad credit
Have large debt/student loans
Currently, the mortgage interest rates are very low compared to the US historical averages
Buying a house is a good long term investment as houses have a history of appreciating around 3% in value every year on average
When you are a home owner, there are numerous tax advantages. Your home mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible from your income which results in THOUSANDS of dollars in savings!
When you are home owner, you have the opportunity to make it your own unlike rental properties
Instead of spending money on rent, your mortgage payment goes towards building equity in your home
Average Rental Prices in Arlington, Virginia
The Washington, D.C. Metro area is one of the most expensive places to live in the country right behind San Francisco and New York City. So while Arlington, Virginia is a great place to live and offers a lot to do, it is not cheap. Since majority of people commute into DC for work, the most expensive area to live per square foot in Arlington is within walking distance to the Metro. While riding the Metro is not a fun experience, parking is not cheap (~$15+/day) and traffic can be horrible. If you live a mile or more away from the Metro, you can usually save around $100-$200 per month in rent. Think strongly about this when choosing a place to live. You might think, a mile walk isn’t bad? But a 1 mile walk in 90 degrees with 80% humidity in a suit or work clothes will make you look like a wreck by the time you get to work. Below are the average rental prices in Arlington, Virginia for units that are within walking distance to the Metro.
1bd/1bth: $1,700 - $2,400
2bd/2bth: $2,400 - $3,000
3bd/3bth: $3,000 - $4,000
Why Rent Condos/Privately Owned Units over Apartments
If you are moving to Arlington, Virginia or any new area, you probably will think to first look at living in an apartment building. However, what if I told you, you could get the same amenities as the apartment buildings while paying cheaper rent? Sounds too good to be true right? Well, condo buildings are basically apartment buildings except each unit is privately owned. Arlington has so many options to rent from private owners in the form of condos, townhomes or even single family homes. So you always should check with a REALTOR® to see all of your options. Here's reasons why renting a condo/townhome/single family home can be better than renting from an apartment building.
Rent: Rent at an apartment building is typically non-negotiable and it usually increases after the first year. However, when renting a condo/townhome/single family home, you are able to negotiate for a lower price.
Utilities: In an apartment building, you typically have to pay for all utilities (water, trash, electric, gas, etc.) whereas in a condo, the HOA fees are paid by the owner which can cover water, trash, sewer, and sometimes even electric and gas depending on the building.
Management: In an apartment building, the management can treat you like a number and sometimes will not be understanding with your problems. With a privately owned unit, the owner is more likely to work with you to resolve an issue since the unit is a large financial investment for them.
Price: In Arlington, you can often get a better deal when you rent a condo instead of an apartment.
It is important to note that in order to see a condo in Arlington, Virginia, you need the assistance of a real estate agent.