BUYING vs RENTING; The Conflict of Choices

There are advantages and disadvantages to renting a property, just as there to buying (own) a home. The answer to whether buying or renting is better largely depends on the individuals personal profile (level, financial situation or economic status) and preference.

In Africa, the lifetime goal of most of her citizens is home ownership. A larger percentage of her populace falls between the middle and lower class citizens, a factor that translates into some of these individuals taking rental offers rather than opting to make purchasing investments.

Without any bias we would be examining the advantages and disadvantages of the two options with regards to property purchase.


There are tremendous financial benefits to renting as opposed to buying a house of your own. A definite advantage renters have over homeowners is that they have no maintenance costs or repair bills to pay off. When you rent a property, your landlord is responsible for all maintenance and repair costs. Another area where renters have the better financial deal is upon signing. When purchasing a house with a mortgage, you’re required to have a sizable down-payment, ideally 20%. Rent amounts are fixed for the span of the lease agreement. While landlords can raise the rent with notice, you can budget more efficiently since you know the amount of rent you are required to pay. Meanwhile, mortgages and the amount of the property tax can fluctuate. In tabulated form, here are some advantages of renting over buying properties.





1. More fixed costs for the term of the lease/rent Variable cost
2. Not gaining equity but not losing it either Equity may go up, down or stay stagnant
3. When the lease (Rental) is up, you can just move Before move can be made, home generally must be sold
4. There is generally less work in maintaining a home or apartment Work needs to be done by owner; or paid for by owner
5. Smaller amount of “Up-front” cash Generally a larger initial investment known as “Down-payment



Buying a home rather than renting can be viewed as a better long-term investment. This is because while both a Tenant and Homeowner are subject to interest rate hikes, the Homeowner is paying towards their own property, and a Tenant receives no tangible benefits at the end of the lease. Buying a home provides owner with certainty; there’s no risk of displacement by a landlord whereas tenants have very little say in how long they can occupy a rental property beyond the lease term. Living in your own home also allows you the freedom to renovate and decorate your home as you please. Buying is the cheaper alternative over the long term. When you factor in the possibility that real estate values often go up over the years, home ownership looks even better.

The table below simplifies the advantages of buying a property over renting.





1. Over time, the mortgage balance decreases and equity builds No matter what happens with the value of the home, rental will never gain equity
2. There can be tax advantages attached to home ownership No tax advantage to renting
3. The ability to remodel and decorate to owners taste Limited ability to personalize your living quarters


Whatever your stance is on either buying or renting a home, it is important to do some research and make decisions that are right for you based on your preference and financial disposition. It is also safe to consult the services of trusted real estate professionals to counsel and guide you towards profitable real estate investments.

Get to meet with top players in Africa’s real estate sector and also sit in for specialized strategy sessions at this year’s Real Estate Unite Conference holding on the 17th and 18th of October 2017 at the Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island Lagos.

For more information and to register as an exhibitor, sponsor or delegate, CLICK HERE

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