I am torn between renting an apartment and buying a house. In my area, renting is significantly higher than a mortage. Any tips, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Thanks for all of the input, guys! I was expecting to get one or two replies if any. I won’t be able to reply to everyone but I’ll be sure to read them and take them into account. Thank you!

Throwaway account so I don’t reveal anything that can be tied to me.

Anyway, I’m a single 25 year old man with a decent full-time job. I’ve never lived alone, I’m currently renting at my folks’. I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford a decent apartment or mortgage with my job. After seeking advice from friends and family, I’ve gotten almost exactly half-and-half suggestions for either option. I was hoping to get all the input I could before I made the decision, so I’d appreciate any advice.

I’ve pieced together some information regarding the decision:

  • Mortgages (altogether in my area) run from around $500-800 (the house I’m currently interested in is $650/mo FWIW)
  • Property taxes are ballpark $800/year for my preferred “range” of houses
  • Rent (altogether in my area) runs from around $900-1200
  • That is, a $800 mortgage would be a fairly nice house whereas a $900 rental would be a small apartment or a sketchy neighborhood. I’m willing to spend about $700-900/mo on either rent or mortgage.
  • If I were to buy a house, the expenses (barring buying furniture, things breaking, emergencies, etc.) would be equal to or slightly higher than just renting an apartment.
  • I have no credit. I’ve heard that no credit is better than bad credit, but, I’ve heard that in my area most landlords/realtors will take a decent job and clean record as a “replacement” unless you’re after an immaculate place which I’m not.
  • I don’t plan on moving out of the area at all within the next five years, maybe within the next 10 years, and likely will after 10-15 years. In my area, you can break even or slightly profit on a house after 5 years, and almost certainly will within 10 years.
  • I plan on smoking trees, so, I’d prefer a house for this reason. Medical state and I have a card, but I don’t know that neighbors/landlords would respect that. Even if they do tolerate it, I don’t wanna be that guy.
  • However, I enjoy the non-commitment of an apartment. I.e, if I don’t like the neighbors or landlord, I can rent someplace else or choose to buy.
  • I enjoy the concept of being able to renovate and “improve” a house however I like.

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