Build or rent: What you must know before making a decision

The time to take the leap to home ownership will eventually come. Every now and then, people are scared on whether to rent or build their own homes. This is rooted in the myths and speculations the world places on these two concepts.

Maybe you feel like it is the right time to finally move out of that rental you have occupied for years, you’re expecting a baby and want a spacious place for them, or are moving to a new city and want to start on a clean slate. Whatever the reason that is making you reflect deeply on renting vs building will change your life now and in the near future.

According to Peter Zziwa, a professional engineer and real estate expert, building is more profitable and convenient because of the flexibility and equity.

“For an ordinary individual, building gives allowance in financial injection while buying and renting comes with a high profit margin. Renting may seem like a flexible option because you have access to disposable income,” he said.

From a financial perspective which depends on your current state as well as your job and income, owning a house will increase your financial/family net worth, and your children will have something to inherit, unlike renting.

He further says that owning a house potentially allows asset returns in form of rental income, such as Airbnb or other commercial benefits.

Before everything, lay down these questions and once you have answered them, go ahead with whatever plan you have decided to undertake.

  • Can you afford the cost?
  • Which of the two options fits your timeline?
  • Will renting or building support or compliment your lifestyle?
  • Is it what you want; will it satisfy your needs?

If you’re torn between deciding on whether to rent of build your own home. Here are some pros and cons:

Predictable costs and easy planning: While many people may turn down renting due to the question of equity, it is less stressful when it comes to costs and budgeting because you know exactly how much you spend on everything from utilities to rent fees. This helps you plan accordingly. For people, who live a simple life, renting is even convenient.

It is flexible: With renting, you have an opportunity to move anytime. For example, if you don’t like the house interior anymore or the neighbourhood, you have an unconditional option to move elsewhere of your preference.

There is more disposable income: Since you will not be spending on repairs and house taxes, among many other things, you will be able to free up some money which can be invested in building your finances.


Temporary: Whereas renting may seem cheaper and less straining, the thought of being short term is even more frightening. If you have little ones whom you plan to raise on community foundations and values, renting will likely not work for you.

Sudden rent increment: With most Uganda landlords, ethics and professionalism when it comes to tenancy isn’t a high opinion matter. They will increase the rent fees whether you agree on a certain amount or negotiate. This is why owning your own house should be in the plans whatsoever.

Uncertainty: Have you heard of landlords who woke up and decided they don’t want to be in anymore? These stories are real and when this happens, however inconveniencing it is, you will have no choice but to move.

No chance of building equity: The monthly rent you pay to your landlord is only contributing towards their growth and expansion. Whereas it is helping you access accommodation, it is crippling your equity. Yet with home ownership you will have a chance to build your finances once you’re settled.

Pros of Building/ buying a house

Stability: The word is freedom; you won’t have to share meals with the landlord to stay. Once you have your own house, what you do with it is your choice and you will sleep comfortably never at the mercy of the landlady.

Building equity: This is the biggest pro of owning a house because with equity, you will have a chance of building wealth. In future when change happens, you can sell it and invest into real estate or related projects.

Customizable: Often times, when people move into spaces, they adjust them to fit their lifestyles, characteristics and liking. Now with a rented house this is not possible without paying extra which makes building your own advantageous.

As is starting something from the foundation, the journey is not all rainbows and unicorns. The cost factor is the most daunting in owning a house because it needs prior planning. Apart from cost maintenance expenses, the taxes that come along, investment limitations and many unforeseen factors like environmental disasters and much more are some of the cons.

Overall, the question of renting or owning a house is a very personal decision, because it counters cost, lifestyle, job, family, goals and planning. Whatever you choose after it all, ensure you get an expert view so that you don’t end up frustrated.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *