By Bethany Woods, licensed Mortgage Consultant for Residential Mortgage, LLC (AK#279796 / AK#167729)

Which One is Right for You?

“Should I rent or buy a home?” As a licensed mortgage consultant, this is a question I hear often. Making this decision comes down to reviewing and comparing the housing market versus the rental market (as analysts frequently do) to determine which is the most economical for you. According to a National Low Income Housing Coalition study on fair market rent affordability, the average rent in Juneau has been on the rise. During the last two years we have also seen an influx of new residents that also has increased the demand for affordable housing. About one-third of those living in Juneau are renters (approximately 4,000). According to the Juneau Economic Development Council, about 25 percent of those renters could qualify to buy a home.

So why aren’t more people buying? I believe it’s merely the need for more information. Let’s compare average rental costs in Juneau to what you might pay on a home mortgage loan (see chart above).

If you’ve saved for your down payment but are concerned about covering closing costs, there are many ways to assist. Look to the professionals, such as your realtor and lender, for advice on how to help.

Some of the people I meet who are considering buying a new home are concerned when news reports talk of a bleak economy. Yes, purchasing a home is a big financial investment. But it’s just that: “an investment.”

When analyzing individuals who invested in a home versus those continuing to rent, there is a notable difference in their net worth long term. Each mortgage payment you make invests in your financial future, whereas each rent payment you make is someone else’s financial gain.

Buying a home is about more than just having a place to live; it’s about having a long-term financial investment that will work for you in years to come.

Bethany Woods is a licensed Mortgage Consultant for Residential Mortgage, LLC (AK#279796 / AK#167729). She can be reached at or by calling (907) 523-7102.