Let’s be honest, when it comes to personal finance…you either love it or hate it. But…
Everyone has their own version of the American dream. For me, a small town girl who always dreamed of moving to the big city, renting my first apartment was always a major part of that fantasy. I didn’t even have to get to the city to experience it, however, as I rented my first place with some friends in college. At the time, I was blissfully oblivious of anyone else beyond my front door, but I’m sure now that we were probably not my landlady’s dream tenants.
Ever since university I’ve been a serial renter, and my fear of home related commitment has only increased as I have whittled down my possessions to those I can fit in my pack, and I find myself “renting” a new room every few days, in this journey around South East Asia. I’ve never dreamed of buying a house over renting one. Renting a house or an apartment always just seemed to make more sense and cost less money. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of advantages to buying a house. However, in this post, I will talk about the numerous advantages I see in renting a house instead of buying one.
Should You Buy or Rent A House?
The choice between buying and renting a house isn’t one I really have to encounter anymore, but let’s say I do move back home and “commit” to one location: What are the advantages to renting a home or apartment over buying?
The obvious first advantage of renting a house or apartment is that the long term commitment is almost nonexistent. If you choose, you can rent a place for as little as 1 to 3 months while you check out a new city or town. Doing this repeatedly could add up as far as moving expenses are concerned, however.
The overall costs of renting a home can be much less on a month to month basis. Home insurance, as well as property tax are large expenses for owners each year, while renters need not even consider these expenses unless they choose to get (very inexpensive) renters’ insurance. The actual monthly payments for the home or apartment itself can be up to almost half as much to rent rather than to own. Of course, there are arguments on either side of the issue that say you are wasting money either spent on rent each month when you could own, or on interest each month when you could rent. While spending money on shelter and comfort is never technically “wasted,” the ultimate choice is yours. So let’s consider a few more advantages of renting a home.
Owning your own home can be unpredictably pricey. This is especially true when you consider that you are responsible for all of the upkeep if you own your own home. Homeowners have to worry about the upkeep of their houses whereas renters generally do not need to worry about maintenance and upkeep on the infrastructure of their homes. Anything that breaks must be paid for by you, the homeowner, which can be expensive even if you have can fix it yourself. Not to mention standard upkeep, for as we all know it is much wiser to maintain equipment and appliances than constantly replace them.
As a renter, your rent essentially covers any standard wear and tear or broken appliances that your landlord or super fixes for you at no extra charge. And you can always move out pretty much whenever you want to, with little more than 30 days notice to your landlord.
There are huge advantages to owning a home—however, you do not generally reap those rewards of homeownership unless you plan to stay in the same house for five years or longer.
In the end, the basic advantage to renting a home is that it provides you a place to live without having to drastically alter any of your financial plans such as debts, mortgages and the like, nor does it affect your credit score provided you just pay the rent every month. In my opinion, it provides all the convenience and comfort of home without any of the hassles of long term commitment.