Living in Redding, CA: Rent vs. Buy

If you’re planning to live in Redding, CA, the first and most important question to ask yourself is whether you should rent or buy. These guidelines will help point you towards making the right decision.

1. How Long Will You Be in Redding?

Renting is the natural option if you are coming to Redding for education, or for a job you hope takes you elsewhere. If you’ve started a family, are enrolling kids in school, or will be soon–look to buy a house. If you are planning to live in Redding for a good while, remember that whether you rent or buy, someone’s mortgage is getting paid off–it might as well be yours.

Paying a monthly mortgage usually costs more than paying rent, but your money is being invested into equity instead of disappearing. Consider how long you plan on sticking around and you could win in the long-run.

2. Do You Have What it Takes to Maintain a Home?

Fifty years ago, everyone knew how to change a door knob, fix a light bulb, or put fresh paint on the wall. Such home improvement skills (and the time it takes to accomplish them) elude most millennials, and so should consider these endless responsibilities before buying. If there is a Tim Allen toolbox inside you, carry on. If not, then be aware of the maintenance that awaits the homeowner after purchasing a home.

3. Do You Know How Much Extra it Costs to Own a House?

The next thing to consider is what you’ll be paying in home maintenance. Studies show that in a year’s time you will pay 1% on every $1,000 dollars of house. In simpler terms, this means if you buy a $200,00 home, you will spend about $2,000 a year in maintenance. On the other hand, renters enjoy the luxury of most maintenance issues being taken care of for them by the leaser. This is ideal if you have neither the time or the skill to fix your leaking roof.  What maintenance costs in both money and time should play largely into your decision to buy or rent in Redding.

4. Down Payment?

This is one of the first questions the lender asks you in the office. Not all, but most loans are going to ask for a minimum of 3.5% down on the house you want to buy.

As a typical guideline, you’re a candidate for homeownership if you can afford to make a down payment, are planning to stay in Redding for longer than 5 years, and have either the money or skill to maintain a home. If not, renting is a wonderful option. With the four colleges in the area, there are plenty of great rents all over town, and the cost for housing (rent or buy) ranks 11% lower than the California average.

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