Enjoying a great quality of life means striking a balance between work and play. Many people regard travel as an essential part of their life.
For example, parents want to give their children an opportunity to open their horizons and learn about other cultures. But this can be difficult when you have kids to take care of as well as a house to maintain. You might have expenses that make you feel as if you should place travel on the back burner.
Happily, you don’t have to sacrifice travel with your family just to afford a good home. We’ve put together a list of the pros and cons with regard to either buying or renting a home, and the impact they can have on your ability to afford travel with your family.
Pros of Buying a House
- You Can Rent It Out While You’re On the Road
When everyone’s out of the house on vacation, it could be sitting empty. But now you have the option to put it to use because you own it.
A residence can readily be turned into a rental property. How long you intend to be gone with your family will determine whether you ought to arrange a short- or long-term rental agreement.
A property management company can help you with this while you’re away, so you may continue to enjoy passive income that covers your mortgage, and possibly add to your family travel funds.
- It’s an Investment Toward Future Travel
A house purchase should be treated as an investment. Typically, a mortgage will be significantly less than what the rent payment on a residence. That means you should be able to save money to invest in your future travel plans.
There are also the benefits of tax breaks that come with owning a house. Depending on how long you’ve owned it, you could get a break of anywhere from $400 to $2,000.
- You Have the Option of a Home Equity Loan
Unlike renting an apartment or a house, the money you put into your home builds equity. This is a great thing for a family who loves to travel, because you also have the option of taking out a home equity loan.
This is regarded as a second mortgage. It enables you to borrow money from the equity you’ve built in the property. Now you can avoid potentially choking credit-card debt that features high-interest rates when you take your next family vacation.
- You’ll Always Have a Place to Call Home When You Return
Owning a house means you always have a place to call home. At the end of a long trip, it feels good to return to a safe space with your kids.
Your house is your sanctuary where you may unwind and regroup before heading back to school, work, and the other duties of daily life.
Cons of Buying a House
- It’s an Up-Front Investment
A house purchase means a hefty cost. Most home loans require a down payment of at least 20% unless you have opted for a VA or USDA loan.
That much money likely means you’ll have to tap into savings that you may have thought would go to travel. Plus, you might have to cover repairs or renovations to accommodate your family size and needs.
- Traveling May Have to Wait a While
It takes time to find and settle into a house. You have the initial search, which entails going to open houses or scheduling showings.
Then you undergo the negotiation and closing. But that’s just the beginning.
It takes time to move everything in and unpack. Children might have to be enrolled in new schools and then extracurricular pursuits.
All this may mean travel will have to wait a few months, if not years, before you have the opportunity to do it again.
Pros of Renting
- Significantly Less Responsibility
Renting an apartment or a house involves significantly less responsibility. You won’t have to pay out of pocket for major repairs, and that money can go straight to your family travel fund instead.
Often, landscaping is handled by the landlord or complex. All you have to worry about is making sure your rent and utilities are paid in full and on time.
- You May Have an Option to Sublease or Rent
Depending on the lease agreement, you may have the option to sublease or rent out your apartment temporarily as a vacation home. You’ll want to double-check on this because it may involve some requirements such as getting prior approval from your landlord.
If it is an option, you may continue to enjoy passive income while you’re traveling, which will pay your rent while you’re away.
Cons of Renting
- It Can Feel Like Throwing Money Out the Window
The rental market is extremely high right now. Rental homes and apartments are 12% to 15% more than what they were in November of last year.
Then there’s the fact that the dollars you pay every month don’t go anywhere but the pocket of your landlord. This may eat at your potential travel funds, and diminish your ability to pursue memorable getaways with your family.
- The Landlord Could Increase Your Rent at Any Time
When you purchase a residence, you know exactly what you’ll be paying every month. But when you rent, the landlord has the option to increase what you have to pay at any point.
This can be detrimental to your travel plans, if any savings you have put toward your next family vacation might have to go to those higher rent payments.
Your children don’t have to worry about these considerations. But as parents, you have to think about which sacrifices might need to be made for travel to remain an integral part of your lives.
As you weigh your long-term goals for family travel, you may have second thoughts about whether to buy or rent your residence.
If you’re only looking to do a few weekend getaways, you might be content with renting. If you hope to travel abroad with your family, though, you may want to consider buying a house to build up your savings.