Should I Buy a House?

Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Homeowner

Written by: Matthew Whitfield

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
A young couple enjoying their new home

Taking your first step onto the property ladder is a significant decision that can have profound impacts on your financial future and the way you live.

The benefits of owning property can include financial growth and a sense of personal freedom. However, it is not without its challenges, and it's essential to be informed of these before making such a commitment.

Advantages of Buying Property


In the long run, owning a home can be more cost-effective than renting. Monthly mortgage repayments are often competitive when compared to rental rates, especially when you consider that with each payment you are contributing towards eventual outright ownership, building home equity over time.

Historically, homeowners have benefitted from long-term increases in house prices. This can result in significant financial gains when it's time to sell. This is especially significant considering that, in the UK, gains from the sale of a primary residence are not taxed.

Property market value

Make sure you understand a property's market value and know how to make an offer and negotiate.

You should research sold house prices of similar properties in the area, and use valuation services such as the Varbes instant online property valuations or professional surveys.

Control Over Your Living Environment

When you own a property, you have greater control over your surroundings. You're free to improve and modify your home as you see fit. Any increase in value due to these enhancements will directly benefit you when you sell the property.

Imagine wanting to knock down a wall for a more open-concept living area, or build an extension for an additional bedroom. As a homeowner, you have the freedom to make these changes, whereas a renter would not.

Related resources


Homeownership offers a sense of stability, allowing you to establish long-lasting connections with neighbours and others in a local community.

Identify suitable areas

Make sure you buy a home in an area that aligns with your lifestyle, aspirations, and needs.

Our guide How Do I Decide Where to Live? includes a comprehensive checklist to help you pick out suitable areas.

Predictability of Mortgage Payments

Monthly mortgage payments can be more predictable than rent. When choosing a mortgage, you can opt for fixed-rate periods of up to ten years, allowing you to lock in the monthly payment and build a budget around it. In contrast, rental payments frequently change at the end of each agreed tenancy period.

Income During Retirement

Homeownership can provide a source of income during your retirement years, for example through equity release schemes, supplementing your pension income.

A retired couple, enjoying income from home ownership

Legacy for Your Beneficiaries

You can leave your home to beneficiaries, transferring wealth to the next generation.

Disadvantages of Buying Property

Saving for a Deposit

Saving for a deposit is a significant hurdle to homeownership. Typically, you will need to put aside at least 5% of the purchase price, a substantial financial commitment that could delay other life plans.

Money jar for saving a house fund

Additional Costs

The process of buying property comes with additional expenses, including mortgage application fees, legal costs, stamp duty, and property surveys. These can add up and add extra strain to your finances.

Understand the home-buying process

Make sure you are aware of all the potential costs upfront, so you can plan a realistic budget.

Our First-Time Home Buyer Guide is tailored for beginners and includes a comprehensive list of the costs involved in a typical home purchase.

Stress of Buying

Purchasing property can be a drawn-out and stressful process. Both buyer and seller can withdraw up to exchange (which is quite far in the process), potentially leaving you out of pocket for any expenses incurred up to that point.

Home-buying timeline

Know the timescales involved in the home buying process, so you can plan suitable accommodation during the moving period.

Our Property Buyer Timeline outlines the average time each step takes, potential sources of delay, and what to do after completion.

Property Maintenance

As a homeowner, all maintenance and repairs are your responsibility, which can be costly and take up significant amounts of time. When renting the landlord typically handles these issues.

Potential Value Decrease

While house prices have generally increased over time, there's no guarantee this trend will continue. Economic conditions and market fluctuations could impact the property's value, and selling during a market downturn could lead to a financial loss.

Slower Moving Process

If you need to relocate, selling your property can make the moving process more complicated and time-consuming than it typically is for renters. Selling a home, like buying, can be a stressful and drawn-out process.

Leasehold Property Costs

Leasehold properties come with extra costs that need to be budgeted for, such as service charges and ground rent. Additionally, if the remaining lease is nearing 80 years, you might need to extend it, which can be costly.

More guides

First-Time Home Buyer Guide

Navigating the homeownership journey as a beginner - topics explained, useful tips, and helpful resources

A sand timer hourglass
How Long Does It Take To Buy a House?

Breaking down the home-buying timeline in England and Wales, including potential delays, plus steps to take post-completion.

A house with a stack of coins next to it
How To Make an Offer and Negotiate for a House

Key steps for determining the right initial offer for a house, and how to navigate the negotiation process towards a final price