Is it Smart to Buy a House All-Cash?

When deciding whether to buy a house all-cash or finance it through a mortgage loan there are several factors to consider. Learn more about what experts say.

Is it Smart to Buy a House All-Cash?

Whether you should pay cash or finance your home purchase depends on your financial situation. Paying cash will make your offer more attractive to the buyer and you will own the property directly. But if you don't have the funds to pay for a home in cash, a mortgage can help you get a homeowner sooner. Paying cash for a home eliminates the need to pay interest on the loan and closing costs.

Lenders don't charge mortgage origination fees, appraisal fees, or other fees to evaluate buyers, says Robert Semrad, JD, senior partner and founder of Chicago-based DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm. Buying a home with cash doesn't eliminate recurring expenses. You'll continue to pay property taxes and, if you're wise, homeowners insurance. However, you can take the money you would have spent on monthly mortgage payments and save it for retirement or emergencies (or spend it).Paying cash can also simplify the homebuying process.

There's no loan application, subscription, or approval, so you'll save yourself the potential headaches and stress of dealing with a lender. You may also be able to save some time, since that lender won't need to review all of your finances. While owning your home outright can give you great peace of mind, it shouldn't be at the expense of your overall financial security and becoming poor housing. Without the looming debt of a long-term mortgage, cash homebuyers can use their monthly income in other ways, such as investing, vacationing, and more. Mortgage lenders generally don't finance a home that's in disrepair, Kurokawa says, so you may pay cash for a house that needs work before it becomes habitable.

The amount you need for a down payment on a home depends on the type of mortgage you get, your financial details, and more. A cash buyer's home is not leveraged, allowing the homeowner to sell the home more easily even at a loss, regardless of market conditions. However, if the landlord invests all of his money in a single asset, he will have to sell the house to get money from it. When you pay for a house with cash, you are investing a large portion of your money in an asset that is quite illiquid, which means you can't take advantage of that money easily or quickly. Therefore, it stands to reason that buying a home with cash or investing as much cash as possible in your home to avoid the enormous debt associated with a mortgage is the smartest option for your financial health.

If you're considering buying a home with cash, you might first consider consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional who can analyze your individual situation and give you an idea of how it might affect your finances. Buying a home with cash is almost the same as buying with a mortgage, with the huge exception of not having to apply for a loan and all the paperwork involved. Unless a homeowner has other financial resources besides the money they invest in buying the home, buying a home with cash limits the available cash. If you're buying in a popular housing market like Austin or Denver, everything in cash may be the ideal route. On the other hand, paying for a house in full could provide enormous relief by eliminating long-term debt. You could save less than the money you could have earned if you had taken out a mortgage and invested the money you didn't spend on your home. When deciding whether to buy a house all-cash or finance it through a mortgage loan, there are several factors to consider.

Paying cash for your house eliminates interest payments and closing costs associated with taking out a loan. It also simplifies the process since there is no need to apply for financing or deal with lenders. However, investing all of your money into one asset can limit your liquidity and prevent you from taking advantage of other investment opportunities. If you have enough funds available to purchase your house outright without compromising your financial security or future investments then paying all-cash may be an attractive option.

However, if taking out a loan would provide more financial flexibility then financing may be more beneficial in the long run. Ultimately it is important to weigh all options carefully before making any decisions.