Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why We Rent

My hubby and I are in our 30's and we don't own a home. I think most people would be embarrassed to admit that, but not us. We definitely feel the pressure from "society" to follow the American dream and own a home, but for now we enjoy renting. There are a multitude of reasons to rent, but for me the primary benefits of renting are finances and flexibility.

Renting is almost always cheaper. we live in an urban area where housing is expensive. Homes in our area start around $240,000. A 15 year fixed rate mortgage on that with a down payment (the only way we'd finance a home) is at least triple what we pay in rent. We don't pay property taxes, property insurance, or association dues. We don't worry about the cost of repairs or maintenance. When something breaks in our home, we call the landlord. We have no surprise costs of replacing a roof, a heater, getting the plumbing fixed, etc.

I also love the flexibility of renting.We can get up and go anytime we want. We don't have a house to sell if we want, or need, to move. We aren't tied down to a mortgage payment that must be made. We also have no risk in renting. Buying a home doesn't guarantee a good investment. My sister just decided to move back to the Midwest from Las Vegas. She gave away or sold everything in her apartment, shipped back her clothes, and will be driving back at the beginning of June. If she had bought a condo here when she arrived 3 years ago (which she had planned to do), there is no way she'd be able to make this move now.

I am not saying owning a home is "evil" or that we don't eventually want to be homeowners ourselves! But I do think a lot of people jump in to homeownership without thinking, planning, or saving first (hence the current mortgage crisis). We just want to be well prepared when we make the jump to owning rather than renting. Until then, we'll enjoy being renters.

5 Thoughts From Others:

ErinOrtlund said...

Absolutely! People sometimes say renting is "throwing money away" but I don't think it is--you're paying for a place to live and flexibility to move. Only last year, we bought our first home--before that, it did not make sense to buy. And even still, when I thought about the higher monthly payment, the property taxes, the home insurance, the repairs--I figured we could probably save as much by renting and pocketing the difference. But it made sense in our case to buy--if we were in your area with the higher housing costs, we'd probably have done the same as you.

Barb said...

My husband and I are considerably older than you and your husband and we rent too. Our reasons are a little different, but I agree with the benefits you've mentioned here.

I found you through the BlogHerAd network. It's nice to "meet" you.

Casey said...

I think renting is great as long as you find a good place to rent! Apartments aren't the best place especially if you can hear all your neighbours and they can hear you, mine are not a fan of me (I have a daughter who cries A LOT) I like that renting is cheaper by the month but I think we need a house soon, sick of close by neighbours

The Campbell Family said...

Not at all related to your post - you already know how I feel about apartments. :) But, I think that is the same picture I used to work on your wedding shower announcements... wierd...

Camille said...

Erin -- I agree. If we were some where more rural buying would probably make more sense!

Barb -- Thanks for visiting! I'm planning to head to your blog today!

Casey -- I agree except here in Vegas you can reach out your window and touch the home next to yours. And you can always get stuck with bad neighbors when buying -- then you are really stuck! I do agree, though, that it can be hard to find a good place to rent (house, apartment, condo, etc).

Steph -- I'll trade ya. :-)

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