Why Renting Works for Me

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renting vs. buying a home, housing and apartments, home buying, home insurance, home loans, home maintenance, home repair

The following is a guest post by Natalie from Debt and the Girl. Enjoy! 

Why Renting Works for Me
There has been a lot of discussion lately on the pros and cons of buying vs. renting in today’s market. Some feel that buying a house is the superior solution, while others claim renting is much better. There is no right or wrong answer, as very situation is different. 
However, I will say that at this moment, renting is right for me at this time.

Our Story

My boyfriend and I have a house that was purchased about 5 years ago. Then, the market crashed and realized we were stuck with this property, and at the time, we had diminished incomes due to reasons beyond our control. 
We tried to put the house up for sale twice, and both times, were met with disappointment. We had spent thousands on much needed repairs/renovations for the house, and we did not receive one offer. It was crushing to say the least. It also did not help that we were trying to sell in one of the worst economic times in American history and that there were foreclosures left and right in our area. There was also the fact that we had crummy real estate agents, but that’s another story for another day! 
We eventually were able to rent out the house to tenants and move into a lower-cost apartment. The experience gave me a shock to the system that I had not anticipated. It was eye-opening to say the very least.
Now that my boyfriend and I are living in an apartment, I can say that life has gotten much less stressful and much better. Our rent on the apartment is about $400 less than the mortgage on our house, and we are using that excess money to pay off debt. If we had stayed in that house, our utility bills would have been through the roof! Also, we are fortunate in that we have good tenants right now who pay the rent on time and are not damaging the house beyond belief. Both are very good to consider if you are thinking about renting your property to other people.

Advantages of Buying vs. Renting

There are some definite advantages of renting versus buying. 
Probably one of the biggest things is that you don’t have to pay extra for repairs, landscaping, use of the pool (we have two in our apartment complex), or upkeep of the property. Repairs alone on a house can be VERY expensive. Our heater went out in our house and we had to replace it for $1000, and that was actually a good deal. There were also times when we had to do little but costly things like update the circuit system or reconfigure the pipes so that they didn’t freeze in the winter (not fun). It is easy to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and upkeep before you have even blinked an eye.
The one thing I will say why I think renting is great is the freedom that you have with it. With the current financial economy, there is no such guarantee that you can sell a house and leave. Therefore, you have the possibility of being tied to one place until the market recovers. This is fine if you plan on living in the same place for years and have good job security, but these are things that many do not have. It is a scary thing to even consider that you may lose your house, and that is something I really don’t want to go through again.  We were very lucky to have gone through that and still come out the other side.
In short, renting works for me. There is something that is very liberating about being able to have more control over when and where I can move. This freedom will only increase when we sell the house someday. Some would say that I am throwing money by renting, but the truth is that all the money I am saving is going to pay off my debts and build up savings. Renting is still a cheaper option where I live, and it is good option for me right now. I may change my mind in the future, but it works for me. As I have said before, everyone’s situation is different and what works for you may not for others, but right now this is the best option for our family.

How about you all? Do you prefer to rent or own your home? Why do you choose one way over the other?


Share your experiences by commenting below!

    ***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubenerd/3858055204/sizes/l/in/photostream/

    Comments

    1. SavvyFinancialLatina says:

      Right now my husband and I are renting. Until we have enough money to put down 50%, we won't be buying a house. Honestly, I don't mind living in an apartment. We accumulate less things, pay less bills, and have to upkeep less. All I see is my in laws working during the weekend to upkeep their 4,000 sq. ft house. They say they enjoy it. Maybe it's because they are older? I know, I sure wouldn't enjoy it right now!

    2. I'm in the same boat. I've actually made the conscious decision to live with my parents. They are laid back and we get along great, and it also allows me to save a ton in rent payments. I'm definitely getting to a point where I want and need to move out, but buying a nice house in LA isn't easily affordable. Nevertheless, it's great that you found a solution that seems to really address every financial issue. Congrats!
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