Before You Make the Commitment of a Lifetime…

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 


prickett fence

Should I rent or should I buy? Sounds like the lyrics to a Weird Al parody of a song by the Clash. The answer is quite simple… oh wait, no it’s not. Fortunately, and my wife can attest to this, I have all the answers.

The trick is to know the facts. The first question: Can you qualify for a loan? If not, then you’re renting. While there are 100-percent financing programs available (VA for one), in most cases you’ll need at least 5 percent of the purchase price for a downpayment. There are exceptions, but if you’re really stretching, you might want to rent for a couple years and stuff that mattress.

If you do qualify to buy, then look at the monthly cost of a mortgage versus a lease on similar properties [See facing page]. These days, the monthly nut is often less on a purchase, assuming you look at homes with similar square footage and amenities. I’m not going to get into tax benefits, cost of owning and other variables, because there are too many. Obviously a fixer upper will skew the numbers more than a new build. There are countless “rent vs. buy” calculators online. 

Another key question: How long do you plan to stay? Many first-time buyers upgrade to a new home in a few years, whether due to procreation or relocation or something else. Will you (can you?) keep your first home to live in for many years or as an investment? If not, you’ll probably lose money. It costs money to sell a home. If home prices go up 5 percent in three years and it costs you 7 percent to sell, that’s no bueno.

There’s something to be said for the whole “pride of ownership” thing. But wherever you live, excluding mom’s basement and possibly some cults, you have to pay money. If the numbers are close and one feels more right than the other, you’ll probably be OK.

Related: Cost Comparison: Rent vs. Buy


Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
 
Chris Prickett
Former contractor, former home inspector and funny guy, Chris Prickett is owner and designated broker of Prickett Realty. A New Jersey native, Prickett has been a top-producing REALTOR® in North Phoenix over the past decade. He has been a columnist since 2005. Over the Prickett Fence is published weekly by In&Out Publications.
Chris Prickett on Email

Chris Prickett

Former contractor, former home inspector and funny guy, Chris Prickett is owner and designated broker of Prickett Realty. A New Jersey native, Prickett has been a top-producing REALTOR® in North Phoenix over the past decade. He has been a columnist since 2005. Over the Prickett Fence is published weekly by In&Out Publications.

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