I have rented since I moved out of my parent’s house almost a decade ago. And while there was a brief period of time that I actually looked for a condo, I’m pretty settled on the fact that I have no plans to buy a house. Will this change in the future? Perhaps, does anyone really know what tomorrow will bring. But, at the end of the day, that’s my decision and it’s mine to make.
Most people in the older generations believe that renting a house is a waste of money. This is something that’s been told to me since high school when I took a Career and Life Management and had a whole monthly-long project on budgeting (which, by the way, was the ONLY actual time we spent on anything related to finances in all of high school). And, for the longest time I believed it, but I don’t anymore.
There are benefits to renting your home and it’s not as simple as saying that you’re “paying someone else’s rent.” So, here are the two top benefits for me:
A Well-Managed Property
First and foremost, I’m a condo dweller. While you might love your backyard with green grass and shady trees, I’ll take a balcony any day. There’s a TON of work that goes into actually owning a house or condo that as a renter I don’t have to deal with.
Your toilet goes wonky, you have to find the next available plumber that can handle the job and pay him whatever emergency fee he charges. He’ll be there sometime in the next 24-hours. I file an online notice with my management property at 1:30 am and it’s fixed by maintenance at noon the next day.
The same goes for the dishwasher, laundry machine, gas stove, air-conditioned and even the lightbulbs (I kid you not). The longest I had to wait for maintenance was when the heater in our washer went out and I had to wait 5 days to get it fixed. But it didn’t cost me a penny AND the property manager offered the laundry machine in a vacant unit if we needed to do clothes. We didn’t take it, but the option was there.
Unless I genuinely go all Hulk on something in my apartment and break it, I don’t pay for maintenance. My fire alarms are checked twice a year by professionals, the company hires special dogs to check the units for termites and other pests on a yearly basis, not to mention they change the air filter on the conditioner. I don’t mow the grass in the courtyard or clean up the shared gym facilities.
At the end of the day, I get to live in a well-managed property and I don’t have to shell out money several times a year.
The Option to Leave
I openly admit that I have no idea where I want to be in 10 years. Seriously, I’ve got dreams to move to another big city, jet off to Europe or get myself a seaside condo in Mexico. But, at the end of the day, I haven’t decided.
If you own a house, you can’t simply pick up and move. If you rent, you can. In six months I could be sipping Belini’s on the beach and you’d still be showing your house or paying off your real estate fees.
At the end of the day, houses cost a lot of money—where I live you’re looking at $450,000 for your average two-story family home. I don’t have that kind of money. But, more importantly, I don’t want to be tied down to someplace because I’ve earmarked that kind of money for a house. Buying versus renting is a personal choice, and it’s one that I’m happy I’ve made the way I have.
Looking For More Insights?
- After COVID How Do You Get Financially Back on Track?
- How Do Angel Organizations Invest?
- 5 Rules of Thumb When Saving Money