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Author: Peter Ackerley

Should you rent or buy your first property?

We all remember that first time we moved out of home. The excitement, the possibility, the unbridled fear of sudden adult responsibilities!

While the vast majority of us will only ever be in a position to move out into rental accommodation, more and more young people are staying at home longer and choosing to save their deposit so that their first step onto the property ladder is towards ownership.

Here’s what you can expect from renting or buying your first place.



  • Flexibility: you’re usually only signing on for a 6-12 month lease, meaning that if work changes, or you come down with a case of wanderlust, you’re not tied down with mortgage payments.
  • Smaller Entry Price: Renting your first place doesn’t require a 10-20% deposit on the price of the property – all it takes is usually a few weeks worth of rent up front and the place is yours. Beats slaving away for months or even years only to buy your way into a huge debt.
  • No Maintenance Costs: Something goes wrong? Too easy – call your building manager. As long as you avoid causing any intentional damage, you wont even have to pay to replace your light-bulbs (in some cases).


  • Instability: If you like where you’re at, it’s a bummer when your landlord or owner decides to cancel your lease, raise your rent or sell the property out from under you.
  • Inability to make changes: When you’re young, you want to express yourself with your digs, but there are only so many cosmetic changes you can make in a rental property. Be careful where you hang pictures, and don’t even think about painting a wall!
  • Payments never stop: No matter how long you live in the place, or how good a tenant you are, you’ll never be able to say you own it, and technically, your rental payments will continue for good.



  • Stability: Once you sign on the dotted line, you own the place. As long as you continue to make repayments on your loan, nothing can force you out.
  • Improve at will: Want to knock down a wall? Go ahead. Hang a picture? Where’s the hammer! It’s your place, so you can do anything and everything you please to make it your own.
  • Magical Equity: You may have heard of this mystical force called equity. What is it? The value of your home, minus the amount you owe on your mortgage is your equity. Essentially, by paying off your home each month, you’re forcing yourself to save money by investing it in your own property.
  • Room for growth: When life happens, and you find yourself thinking about a pet, a partner or even starting a family, you’ve got nothing to worry about.


  • Inflexible: If things change suddenly in your life and you need to move on, for work, or to chase love, or for whatever reason, it can be a costly and timely experience to rid yourself of a bought property. A good rule of thumb is it will cost you around 4% of the cost of your home to sell it.
  • It’s all you: Not only do you have to pay for every bit of maintenance your house needs when you buy, you actually have to do most of the work yourself! Better practice your lawn-mowing technique, and start buying things you never thought you’d need, like a ladder and screwdrivers.
  • Higher entry point: Most of us will need to take out a loan to buy, and that means saving a deposit. Depending on your saving and budgeting abilities, this could take a while. The best deal you’ll get will be around a 5% deposit required, which for a house costing $400,000 amounts to a $20,000 deposit, and that’s not including all the other costs of buying.

For more advice on getting your own place, whether you decide to rent or buy

To see how we can help, make a home loan enquiry online in just minutes.