Maybe you just graduated. Or you have a baby on the way. Or you reached a milestone birthday. Or you received an inheritance. Or you’re planning to relocate to Buffalo for a job.
Life events like these usually trigger questions and decisions related to housing. Should you leap into homeownership, or should you plan to stay more flexible by renting? There are positives when it comes to both, and foremost, you should consider your motivation. Think about what you really want from a place to live, whether it’s an investment, a piece of your identity, a convenient place to crash, or all three and more.
So, ask yourself, “What do I want?” when it comes to choosing a home or apartment in Buffalo.
I want to…be nearer to the action.
If you’re looking for a place to live in a trendy area of town, renting may be an obvious choice. Areas like Canalside, Elmwood Village and the Cobblestone District stay busy and buzzy with activities year-round. You’ll have many neighbors with similar lifestyles, people who enjoy getting out and experiencing the lively experiences your neighborhood has to offer.
It’s fun to have easy access to happening parts of the city but it can be cost-prohibitive to purchase housing in these areas if you’re looking for a starter home or don’t have a large down payment saved up. Renting can give you an opportunity to save money for your future down payment without sacrificing the quality of life you want.
I want… peace and quiet.
Many people think raucous neighbors are part and parcel of apartment living. However, buying a home is no guarantee that you’ll have tranquil nights of silence. Depending on your proximity to a busy area, any neighborhood can be prone to noisiness.
The best thing to do is to evaluate your potential housing options at different times of day and in different settings. What are traffic sounds like in the area? Are you near the university where you could have boisterous young neighbors?
Buying a home isn’t your only option when it comes to having a peaceful living space. If you want the peace of a quiet neighborhood, you may want to consider a smaller apartment complex or a renovated building. Some of these types of rentable residences (like this beautiful converted home on Franklin Street) have only a handful of apartments, which means the potential for noise from your neighbors is greatly reduced.
I want to…find a place with personality.
Buffalo has a variety of neighborhoods with beautiful and unique homes, and many of these buildings just have a distinct charm. They may be filled with sunshine from wide banks of windows, or they may have an inviting front door, or their front lawn may have the perfect garden. Something about them just strikes you as unique and different and imminently livable.
When you find that perfect space, you may be ready to settle down with it and make it official, signing mortgage documents and pledging your loyalty for a lifetime (or at least for the next seven or so years, since most Americans move 11 times in their lives).
But… I don’t want the outrageous expenses that come with a house with personality
Sometimes the thing that makes a house so charming is that it truly is one of a kind. It was built in a different era. And, with those quaint older homes, you may need to spend time and money on repairs to keep them functional. If you’re looking at a $300,000 home, you should budget around 3 percent of your home’s overall cost each year for maintenance.
If you choose instead to rent a place with some personality, you know exactly what your monthly housing costs will be. Any maintenance expenses will be paid by the landlord, leaving your extra cash as just that…extra, to be used as you please.
If you still want to some of that charm and personality infused into your living space, you may want to consider one of the many buildings around town that have been given new life as urban housing options.
As an example, The Antonio was built for commercial business in 1909 and has been redeveloped and revitalized to provide a unique housing option. In apartments like the ones at The Antonio, modern comforts like 24-hour security and custom kitchens and baths meld seamlessly with beautiful historic touches like original wooden floors, curved plaster window sills and interior brickwork.
Whether to rent or to buy really comes down to own specific set of circumstances. However, one thing’s for certain: where ever you choose to live, you’ll have access to all the great benefits of being a part of the Buffalo community.