Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Benifits of Renting vs. Owning

Recently I've been thinking about why I'm glad I am currently a renter and not a home owner.

My main reason is money. I'm not going to go through the analysis to try and prove that one can rent the same house for less money than owning the house or anything else along those lines - mainly because I don't think its always true instead I'm going to look at why renting is better for me at this point in my life.

1. Location of renting is better --- I currently live in a fantastic location (and am loving it!). Regardless of the quality of the home from a "handyman special" to a "McMansion" there is not a house or condo with in a 10 block area of my current location that I could buy with a mortgage and HOA's that would be even close to my current rent.
2. By renting I'm more willing to settle for less space, amenities, and upgrades --- Because I'm only committed to living in my apartment for a short period of time I know that I can always upgrade if needed or wanted so I'm much more willing to rent something that works for right now rather than hunting for room to grow. I'm also okay with lesser quality than I'd want in a home.
3. Renting allows for easier roommates situations --- By renting both my roommate and I are held to the same contract with our apartment complex so if either of us were to break the lease the apartment complex gets to be the bad guy. If I were a home owner I'd want to make sure I could afford the mortgage on my own with out needing to rely on a roommate but even if I had a roommate I'd have to forced into the position of landlord.
4. No maintenance costs --- No maintenance costs is what got me thinking about why I'm glad to be a renter. Sunday afternoon our A/C stopped working, I checked it out and it wasn't any of the obvious fixes so Fashionista and I called our apartment's maintenance answering service, about twenty minutes later they called us back and tried to walk us through the basics for repairing (which I'd already done) since none of that worked and A/C problems are considered emergencies by our apartment complex a maintenance repairman arrived about an hour after we called and discovered it was the compressor. It then took him a little over 6 hours for the new compressor to be installed and the pipes welded in place. As Steve, the repair guy, was working on this I couldn't help be think of the expense, compressors usually cost between $1,500 and $3,000 not to mention the overtime/off hours time that having a repairman at your home on a Sunday probably costs. After this repair it made me extra happy to be a renter and the bill be sent to my complex and not to me.

At least for right now I'm very happy that I'm currently renting. I know in the future I will become a home owner and will hopefully be just as happy.

Are you a renter or a home owner? What's benefits do you have?


Kyle said...

I'm an owner and sometimes it's a pain, but my mortgage and HOA are only about $100 more than my rent in a comparable apartment down the street. Factor in tax savings and renting the extra room and I actually pay about $200 per month total. It mostly comes down to how good a deal you get on your place and what neighborhood you live in. Now is as good a time as ever to buy.

Mom @ Wide Open Wallet said...

I could rent my house for about $200 a month more than my costs. That wasn't true when I bought my house, but rent has gone up and my mortgage hasn't. That was benefit I was looking forward to. Another benefit I'm looking forward to is having the house paid off. You can't pay off rent, and that always bothered me when I was renting. Someday I will be living here for almost free!

Penelope @ Our Fourpence Worth said...

I'm an owner, and sometimes I do wish I was still a renter. I co-own a house with my sister, and being girls, it can be hard to do some of the maintenance work on our own. But we always try to do everything on our own and it can often be very un-fun.

Our garage door is broken right now and we're going to have to get it professionally serviced. Same with our heater. Blech. But a few days ago, my cousin who is visiting us for a while helped me fix one of our fence panels, and while it was hard, we got lots of splinters, scrapes and scratches, the sense of accomplishment when the job was done was nice... sort of.

I often think of how easy it was when we could just call our apartment maintenance before and someone would come and fix whatever was wrong, even change a light bulb we couldn't reach.

But there are both pros and cons to renting and owning, and we wouldn't have our 2 Border Collie dogs if we were still renting. :)

"Future Millionaire" said...

Wow - hearing all of your benefits of owning I guess I need to re-evaluate.

Anonymous said...

I'm renting one of the apartments in Simpsonville, South Carolina. I can say this is the best option for me, because I'm just starting to live independently. With that, I must find ways to save my budget. So I chose renting apartment (Simpsonville), because it is affordable and it is near to my office. In choosing an apartment or a house, we must analyze first if it fits our budget and lifestyle.

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