Buying vs Renting in Butte County

Buying vs Renting in Butte County

It's a long-running debate that affects everyone at some point in their life: is it wiser to rent or to buy a home? In this article, we take a quick look at the arguments for and against homeownership along with what's going on in our own Butte County, where market data suggests buying a home may be cheaper in the long run.

RENTING: PROS AND CONS

Pros of Renting: Flexibility,  Lower Costs, Free Maintenance

  • Tenants are generally only committed to their home for a one year lease period, which means you have the flexibility to move when you need to.
  • Renters don't have to pay a large downpayment or for things like property taxes or homeowners insurance, so renting is often (at least initially) cheaper than buying. Your landlord may also agree to pay some of your utilities, which is a big deal during summer when PG&E bills soar.
  • When the AC goes out in the middle of summer, or the hot water heater breaks during winter, it's the landlord's job to pay to get it fixed. 

Cons of Renting: Relocation, Rising Rents, Rules

  • The flexibility of renting comes with the downside of insecurity - you may be asked to leave at relatively short notice.
  • This insecurity also applies to your rent. Once your lease is up, there's nothing to prevent your landlord from asking for more money when you re-sign.
  • Unlike homeowners, who have a great deal of freedom, tenants often have to agree to a list of rules that may prevent, for example, having a pet or redecorating.

BUYING: PROS AND CONS

Pros of Buying: Investment, Security, Remodeling

  • If house prices increase, as they often (but not always) do, then your home becomes an investment that will pay out over the long term. Even if prices don't increase substantially, the mortgage payments you make are a kind of 'forced savings' that slowly increase the amount of equity you own over time until you eventually own the home outright. You may also be eligible for tax breaks to cover your interest payments and property taxes.
  • Homeowners have the security of remaining in one place and paying a mortgage that cannot be inflated unexpectedly at the whim of a landlord.
  • When you own a home, you get to remodel it to suit your family's changing tastes! The opportunities for DIY are seemingly endless.

Cons of Buying: Responsibility, Costs, Inflexibility

  • A homeowner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, which can add up to a significant amount of time and money.
  • Besides the periodic cost of a new roof or replacing the fridge, when you own a home you have to pay monthly insurance and yearly property taxes. You also have to pay more at the outset in downpayment and closing costs, though these days a 20% downpayment is no longer standard.
  • Moving house is expensive! If you are likely to have to move in the next five years, it may not be the right time to buy. 

WHAT'S THE HOUSING MARKET LIKE IN BUTTE COUNTY?

House prices generally rise year by year, and for the past several years the Butte County housing market has been a strong seller's market - especially after the tragic destruction of Paradise in the Camp Fire of 2018. However, a global financial event, such as the crash of 2008, can change things. It's too early to tell exactly what impact the current COVID-19 crisis will have long-term, however, in the short term, we may see a temporary decrease in house prices, signifying a good time to buy. 

Median house prices in Butte County have risen steadily since 2011 from a low of $154,000 to a recent high of $338,000. Rents, on the other hand, have risen from an average of $1,000/month to $1,700/month. A two-bedroom home in Butte County will currently sell for an average of $228,000, or rent for about $1,400/month. If you plug those numbers into a buy vs rent calculator, the math suggests it's going work out cheaper to buy after three years, and you'll end up saving an average of $156/month by owning your home. 

WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY?

Interested in buying a house but worried about the downpayment and unsure of what you're able to afford? You need to talk to a local realtor. There are all kinds of programs available to help first-time homebuyers in Butte County, and the downpayment your need may be lower than you think. An experienced real estate agent can get you pre-approved for a mortgage so you go into the home search knowing exactly what to look for. 

If you would appreciate the help of an experienced guide through the home buying process, please give us a call today!

P.s. You may not be aware that the help of your buyer's agent actually comes free - our commission is paid by the seller. So make sure to take advantage of that help as soon as possible!

You can call or email us at the address below, or fill out our contact form to let us know what you're looking for.

Phone(530) 693-0387

Email[email protected]

Address Cindy Peebles
02012905
3014 Olive Hwy
Oroville, CA 95966


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18 Properties
Page 1 of 2
3
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,156
Sq.Ft.
1976
Year Built
2
Days on Site
OR21132664
MLS
Ready to move into this three bedroom 2 bath home located close to Hwy 70 for an easy commute to Chico. Close to the after bay for fun activities and swimming. Fenced yard, covered patio. Won't last...
Pending
1265 14th St Oroville, CA 95965
3
Beds
1
Baths
1,124
Sq.Ft.
1962
Year Built
6
Days on Site
OR21127760
MLS
Great little home on a large 1/4 acre lot in established neighborhood. Home has central HVAC, lawn sprinkler system. Home is in need of repair, mostly cosmetic. Condition precludes FHA/VA financing.
3
Beds
1
Baths
1,150
Sq.Ft.
1958
Year Built
6
Days on Site
OR21128588
MLS
This home was recently updated with newer kitchen, laminate flooring throughout, updated bathroom with tile floor and shower, tankless water heater and more. There is a large backyard to create...
12,197
Sq.Ft. Lot
7
Days on Site
OR21127998
MLS
Cleared lot in nice residential area. This is a Probate listing.
Pending
3450 Ashley Ave Oroville, CA 95966
5
Beds
2
Baths
1,998
Sq.Ft.
1964
Year Built
12
Days on Site
OR21123869
MLS
Great view of Table Mountain! Come and see this FIVE bedroom home today, there are not many out there in this price range so this will go quick. The home has three bedrooms and one bath upstairs and...
Pending
35 Janet Ln Oroville, CA 95966
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,560
Sq.Ft.
1992
Year Built
18
Days on Site
OR21055518
MLS
Check out this gorgeous secluded 3.33 acre home! Fully fenced horse property with water troughs and a custom built barn. There's a dog kennel, fenced garden and fenced area for a chicken coop. 3 bed/...
Pending
101 Powell Ridge Rd Oroville, CA 95966
2
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
990
Sq.Ft.
2004
Year Built
31
Days on Site
OR21108105
MLS
Your mountain getaway is waiting for you! Beautiful views from your front porch where you can listen to the birds. There is so much potential here! With a little TLC this home will shine. There are...
3
Beds
3
Baths
2,080
Sq.Ft.
1975
Year Built
41
Days on Site
OR21006886
MLS
2,100SF 4 bed3 bath 2 masters (550k)-2,300SF finished Shop ($170k)[email protected],000 SF Packing Shed/Shop/Bard ($100k)-7.5 Premium Acres ($150k) with no other improvements & amenities = $970k! Remodeled...
Pending
17 Westar Ct Oroville, CA 95966
3
Beds
2
Baths
3,164
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
132
Days on Site
OR21026405
MLS
Looking for your get away home in the mountains. This large 3,164 sq. ft home on over an acre with lots of trees and privacy. Large deck for entertaining. The home is spacious with different levels...
3
Beds
3
Baths
2,907
Sq.Ft.
2005
Year Built
136
Days on Site
OR20256354
MLS
Upscale Elegance & Gated Security combine to offer you quiet enjoyment and contentment. You MAY be allowed to leave the house In 2021. But you just won't want to!! With a dedicated office, you'd...
Pending
65 Greenbrier Dr Oroville, CA 95966
7,405
Sq.Ft. Lot
246
Days on Site
OR20219610
MLS
Nice, buildable, semi-level lot in Kelly Ridge. Minutes to the Lake Oroville and Golf at Kelly Ridge links. Lot is cleared, corners are marked.
Pending
2865 Forbestown Rd Oroville, CA 95966
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,696
Sq.Ft.
2004
Year Built
322
Days on Site
OR20154839
MLS
Your get away retreat! A very well-maintained 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom snuggled away in the mountains. Some snow in the winter and cooler summer nights. The entry opens to the kitchen and living...

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