Renting Versus Owning

Is renting a bad thing? The true answer to this question is yes and no. Many persons may not be in a financial position right now to own their own home or home ownership may not be a significant concern for them at this point in time. So in this case, no, renting is not a bad thing and may actually be the better option for this person as they make the necessary preparation to own their own home

The bad thing about renting though is that every month you are putting out a significant sum of money that in the long run, you will not have anything to show for it. This “rent money” could actually go towards a mortgage and at the end of it, you own your own home.

Many persons believe that home ownership is not for them and they are of the opinion that they have to fit into a certain category to own their own home. However, at First Citizens, we believe that it should be everyone’s right to own a home and this is why we make home ownership affordable to our customers.

We advise that all potential home owners have a proper upfront assessment of their current situation, to determine what is the best decision for them right now. With this initial assessment, the customer will be able to determine the quantity of finances they will qualify for to make an investment in a home. Your job, salary, age, savings, assets, loans and other financial commitments as well as other monthly expenses are utilized in determining this figure. A customer can be assessed along with their spouse or family member when being pre approved.

Once this assessment is completed, you will receive an official pre approval certificate for the quantity of finances that you will be able to borrow to finance your home.

You can contact any of our Mortgage Experts and have your assessment done today or you can Apply Now.

Buying Versus Building

To buy a home or build a home, that is the question. Once you have decided that you would like to own your home, these are the two main options for you building or buying. 



Buying a home can be extremely simple. Once you have been pre approved and you have a good idea of the budget you are working with, the next step is to simply peruse available properties for sale in your desired community. Once you have found a home that you are interested in, you view the property, make an offer and start your application. If your offer is accepted and you are successful with your application, you can most likely move into your new home in less than 3 months. However, there are some pros and cons to buying your home.


The biggest advantage of buying an existing home is convenience. With an existing home, you do not have the hassle of going through the building process, which can be a nightmare if not managed efficiently. You also have the liberty to view different styles and layouts to determine what suites you best, town house, gated community, development, single dwelling etc. If you view a house and do not like it, you can just move on to the next property. With this flexibility, you will also have the ability to view the varying amenities that each community will have to offer before making a final decision.


The most common disadvantage to buying an existing home is that it is likely not going to be exactly what you want. More often than not, you may have to sacrifice some of your ideal desires for your home and settle for what is available and what is within budget. The second major issue is cost. Houses in desired residential communities come at a high premium. Additionally, if the existing home is an older property, it may need some maintenance or renovations which may incur additional cost.



When making your decision about buying vs. building, do not be too quick to rule out the building option. Even though there is a notion that building can be a very tedious and demanding process, building your own home has the potential to be easier than ever, particularly with so many emerging communities and developers offering a predefined set of floor plans and options. Every family has their own characteristics and building your own home places the ultimate power in your hands to construct a house to fit your family, lifestyle, preferences and style. However, with this option there are some drawbacks as well.


Building gives you the ability to own your dream home. When you build a home, you are the designer. You can determine layout, structure, flooring, ceiling and everything in between. You will have the peace of mind to know the quality of your building materials and knowing that everything is brand new and up to date. From wiring for high-speed internet to the installation of new counter tops, acoustics and architectural trends can be added without much trouble and at a fraction of the cost if you had to purchase a house with similar amenities.


The general consensus of home owners who built their house is one of stress, hassle, cost over runs, delays and a host of horror stories. Building your home is a much more demanding process and requires oversight from the home owner to ensure that everything goes to plan.

Additionally, with Bridging Finance, funds are only released when each stage is complete. As such, if there are any cost overruns per stage, the home owner will have to supply this funding. Therefore reinforcing the need for stringent monitoring of the building process.

Further, when building, location may be an issue. Land in preferred residential communities are either not available or at an extremely high price. Often you may have to compromise with location for affordability to make building the more affordable option.

The Final Decision

The decision to build or buy is not an easy one and each has its own set of advantages and problems that need to be carefully assessed before moving forward. The truth of the matter is, building is much more demanding than simply purchasing a completed house. However, there are some pros and cons to each one will simply have to weigh these options when making their decision.

Whether you choose to buy or build, First Citizens will work with you to make either option an affordable one. You can speak to any of our Mortgage Experts to get on your path to home ownership today or you can Apply Now.

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