While finding a place to call home in today’s housing market is not an easy decision, deciding whether to rent or buy weighs heavily in that decision.

Pam Harper, a Century 21 real estate agent who serves the Sherman and Denison area, said with a shortage homes on the Texoma, many people are renting as opposed to buying.

“I’ve never seen the market quite like it is right now,” Harper said. “A lot of people are renting right now because we have such a low inventory to buy. So it’s always much better to buy if you can, if you’re ready and you’re creditworthy and you can find what you’re looking for.”

Harper said renting is the better choice if you’re in a short-term situation or you just moved to an area and don’t know where you want to live. By renting, you get to know the community and the areas before making the big commitment of a mortgage.

“You’re investing in your future. When you retire you don’t have to worry about the mortgage payment or a rent payment anymore,” Harper said. “Hopefully this spring we’ll see more houses go on the market and that will help more people make that investment of home-ownership because that’s what it’s all about.”

Reneé Nichols, a Sherman homeowner and duplex landlord, said buying is generally a better deal in the long run.

“When you’re buying, you’re putting your money into something where you’re going to have equity and a return later,” Nichols said. “With renting, you’re not going to have that return.”

She said the best thing about buying, other than the investment, is that homeowners are able to paint, change the flooring or do whatever they want to do to the property because it’s they own it.

“But at the same time if there’s a problem with the property, it’s on you,” Nichols said. “You need to be able to have the expenses and the resources to take care of it.”

Ginger Weeks, broker manager and owner at Re/Max Proadvantage, said there is a freedom to walk away that comes with renting, whereas buying means adopting more responsibilities and fees.

“Renting meets the need until you have the means and funds to purchase your own property,” Weeks said. “And it really just depends on where you are in your season on life that accommodates the need.”

Weeks said it can always be the right time for people to decide to buy a house, it’s all about taking the risk.