Buying a House With Cash vs. Getting a Mortgage

Susan Kelly Updated on Jun 20, 2023

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, an experienced investor looking for more property, or are simply considering your options when purchasing a house, understanding the differences between buying with cash vs. getting a mortgage is essential.

Paying in full with cash can be tempting and may save you from monthly burdensome loan payments. But it's not always the right choice there are pros and cons to both strategies that must be taken into consideration.

Buying a House With Cash

When you buy a house with cash, you purchase without relying on lenders' or banks' financing. This means all the money for the purchase comes from your pocket. As such, it can be an attractive option for those with ample savings who do not need monthly loan payments to afford their dream home.

Getting a Mortgage

A mortgage is a loan from a lender or bank to purchase a property. The money borrowed will cover the full cost of the house, and you'll be responsible for paying back the loan with interest over time in monthly installments.

Mortgages come with various terms, depending on your credit score, down payment amount, and other factors.

Purchasing with cash vs. getting a mortgage isn't simply about saving money up front - there are other benefits and drawbacks to consider.

Advantages of Buying a House With Cash

  • No Need for a Credit Check: When you buy with cash, there is no need to get approved for a loan or apply for financing from lenders. This could be beneficial if your credit score isn't in great shape, making it hard to get approved for a mortgage loan.
  • Quick Closing Process: If you can pay in full, the closing process can often move more quickly than obtaining a mortgage loan. This may be attractive if you want to purchase quickly and have all the funds available upfront.
  • Reduced Closing Costs: Because no lender is involved, buying with cash often means reduced closing costs associated with obtaining a mortgage loan, such as loan origination fees or appraisal costs.
  • Avoid Monthly Payments: No monthly payments are associated with a loan when you buy with cash. This can provide financial stability and free up money for other investments or savings.
  • Less Stress: Not having to worry about making monthly mortgage payments or paying back a large loan may be attractive to some homebuyers who want the peace of mind that comes with being debt-free upon purchase.

Disadvantages of Buying a House With Cash

  • Limited Savings: Putting all your savings towards purchasing a home leaves you without funds for other investments or emergencies. This could be risky if something comes up unexpectedly and you need extra money at the last minute.
  • No Opportunity to Earn Interest: When you buy with cash, the money is no longer in your bank account, which could be accruing interest over time (assuming you have a high-yield savings account). This could lead to lost potential earnings and growth opportunities.
  • No Tax Benefits: When you buy with cash, there are no tax benefits associated with the purchase, such as deductions for interest payments or property taxes, which may be available if you take out a mortgage loan.
  • Less Variety in Property Choices: Buying with cash limits your options for properties, as you'll only be able to afford those within your purchasing power. At the same time, getting a mortgage loan can open up more possibilities by allowing you to spread out payments over time.

Advantages of Getting a Mortgage

  • Build Credit: Obtaining a mortgage loan can help you build credit if you make your monthly payments on time and in full. This could lead to better interest rates when looking for other types of loans or financing in the future.
  • Tax Benefits: With a mortgage, you may qualify for deductions on your taxes, such as interest payments or property taxes. These can give back some of the money you've put towards the home during the year, making it more affordable in the long run.
  • Affordable Monthly Payments: Unlike paying with cash which requires one lump sum payment upfront, taking out a mortgage loan allows for more flexibility regarding monthly payments. You can spread out the cost over the years, making the purchase more affordable in the short term.
  • Earn Interest: When you take out a mortgage loan, your money is kept in the bank, which can earn interest over time (assuming you have a high-yield savings account). This could lead to additional growth opportunities and potential earnings.
  • More Variety: With a mortgage loan, you can access more property choices than simply paying with cash. You may also be able to afford properties that may have otherwise been out of reach due to a lack of funds upfront.

Disadvantages of Getting a Mortgage

  • Credit Check: When you apply for a mortgage loan, your credit score and history will be considered when deciding whether to approve the loan. If your credit isn't in great shape, this could reduce your chances of getting approved or lead to higher interest rates.
  • Closing Costs: Getting a mortgage loan often involves various fees, such as origination costs and appraisal fees. These can add up quickly and make the purchase more expensive than if you were paying with cash upfront.
  • Monthly Payments: Taking out a loan means making monthly payments which can put additional stress on your finances if you don't have enough money each month to cover them.
  • Interest Rates: The interest rate applied to your mortgage loan will depend on your credit score and other factors, affecting how much you'll have to pay back in the long run. Higher rates can add up over time, making it more expensive than if you had paid with cash upfront.

When deciding whether to buy a house with cash or get a mortgage, there are many factors to consider, such as your current financial situation, available funds, and goals for the future.


How do I decide which is the right choice for me?

The best way to decide which is the right choice for you is to consider your current financial situation, available funds, and goals for the future. Then weigh the pros and cons of paying with cash vs. getting a mortgage to see what makes the most sense.

How much cash do you need to buy a house?

The amount of cash you need to buy a house depends on the price of the property and any closing costs associated with purchasing it. Generally, you'll need at least 5-20% of the purchase price, depending on whether or not you're getting a mortgage loan.

Can you pay the mortgage in cash?

Yes, you can pay a mortgage in cash or by check. However, it's important to note that if you choose to do this, you'll need to have the full amount available upfront and ensure that your lender can accept payment in this form.


The information provided above shows the advantages and disadvantages of both options of purchasing a house with cash or getting a mortgage. When it comes down to it, the decision is ultimately up to you as you weigh the pros and cons. Do your homework and evaluate all your options carefully. Consider the cost of buying a home with cash versus payments over time. Also, consider which tax breaks may be available if you can get a mortgage.