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Renting vs. Mortgages: who wins?

In this blog we touch on the difference and benefits of both options, what support there is out there for first home buyers, and what tools are available for individuals and couples to use, when looking to step onto the property ladder.


The answer may seem obvious but there are some subtleties that you may not be aware of that will help you decide where to focus your thoughts. When you rent a property, this means you are paying to live (or work) in a residential home or commercial property that is legally someone else's. Renting offers many benefits including flexibility through short-term commitment to your residence, reduced maintenance, predictable monthly expenses and more.  

Home ownership, on the other hand, means you are legally (and financially) responsible and bound to your home/property. This is a common goal which many individuals, couples and families strive for. If you’re fortunate enough to be in the position to buy a home, you will also reap many intangible benefits, such as; 

  • Pride of ownership

  • Reminder of the hard work it took to get it

  • Sense of belonging

  • Sense of security

You also gain equity as your home increases in value and, if the property is for a business, (and this includes an investment property) tax deductions.

Home ownership can come in two forms; buying an existing home or building your very own new home.

Whilst it's easily assumed that it’s more expensive to buy or build your own house, in 2019, Stuff released an article stating in many parts of the country, it was now cheaper to buy a home than it was to rent one, with some areas gaining savings of 30%. Now, in 2021, that trend has steadily increased and the market is now described as home buyers and reluctant renters. Although prices of existing homes have risen dramatically so too have rent prices and the financial benefits of building a new home have become very favourable.

It’s important to be mindful that no individual is the same, meaning neither are their circumstances when asking themselves whether it’s ‘better’ to buy or to rent. Living preferences, dependencies, location & income are just a few of the long list of factors which can affect one’s decision or ability to buy or rent.


Many of you caught up in the owner vs renter trap are likely to be first home buyers. 

Choosing between renting and home ownership is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whilst there may be a never-ending list of questions or worries in your mind, we’re here to bring you the good news. Over the past decade, the amount of support for first home buyers, (or anyone that is looking to invest) has increased significantly. 

Thanks to many businesses, financial advisors and even family & friends, you have access to an endless pool of supporting articles, blogs, downloadable guides, podcasts, seminars and webinars that lend a helping hand when it comes to advice on this topic. 

Here are a few topics that you will want to research before taking the leap onto the property ladder;

  • Home loans types 

  • Applying for a mortgage

  • The house hunting journey 

  • KiwiSaver first home grant 

  • Parental guarantees


Servicing a mortgage is often the key factor that will determine one’s ability to buy or rent a property.

Latitude Homes are proud partners with First Step Home Loans. The team at First Step Home Loans are passionate about making the process easier for you, proving that financing a home doesn’t have to be difficult. With over 30 years experience in construction and banking in New Zealand, the team have the extensive knowledge and steps required to turn that pre-approval application into a fully approved loan. 

First Step Home Loans have many tools and guides available, to help you take the first step from renting, towards home ownership.

One of these useful tools is their mortgage calculator. This is a super helpful, easy-to-use, online calculator that estimates for you how much your mortgage repayments are likely to be. 

Use it by following these steps:

Enter the loan amount you’re considering to borrow
The interest rate (you can check bank websites for current rates)
The period of time you’re looking to pay the loan off (also known as the loan term)
Sound helpful? Click here, and take the calculator for a spin. 

Also, First Step Home Loans have a handy home loan information pack to download, the link below will take you to their website. 

If you’re currently renting and looking at taking that first step towards home ownership, get in touch with our friendly partners at First Step Home Loans and have a chat about what the next step is for you.

Absolutely fantastic company to deal with.

Warren Molesworth