For this article, I am going to stray from work-related themes to a theme that is squarely in the non-work realm: renting versus buying a home.
I’ve done both. After college I bounced from rental to rental for eight years until my husband and I took the plunge and bought a house. We lived in that house for seven years and now we’re back to renting again.
Here’s my take-away: The grass is greener where you feel at home.
I prefer renting because, right now, in order to live where I feel at home, renting makes the most sense.
Here are a bunch of reasons why I’m a renter:
- To be able to live in the city. I love that we can walk so many places: to my son’s school, to have dinner at award-winning restaurants, to get ice cream. I love that in one day, I can watch a show at the park, eat a yummy hot dog from a street vendor, visit the library, watch street performers, go out to dinner with friends, and still get home in time for my son’s bedtime.
- Where I live, the price to buy is through the roof. But the price to rent is quite reasonable.
- My landlord will take care of things like buying a new hot water heater, replacing the roof, fixing damage after a bad storm, and many other things that I endured while I was a homeowner
- I hate painting or anything resembling arts and crafts and I have the opposite of a green thumb (red thumb?). So, I’m perfectly fine with not having the ability to make renovations inside or outside.
- Related to my red thumb, I love that someone else mows the lawn.
- I have more time to do the things I enjoy because of the above.
- Flexibility. If I decide I don’t want to live in this place anymore, I don’t have to worry about selling. (And selling is HARD WORK and it’s EXPENSIVE.)
Some people say that renting is “throwing your money away.”
I wholeheartedly disagree.
Our rent check not only pays for a very lovely roof over our heads — in location that we dreamed of living for the past 10 years — but it also provides us with a landlord who will come over on a Friday night because our fireplace is making weird noises.
I understand the “throwing money away” argument, which usually refers to the fact that your rent payments are not tax-deductible and that your rent payments do not help you to build equity. True. But here’s the thing: There are a ton of costs associated with buying, owning, and selling a home that in some cases can equal or outweigh the tax-deductibility and equity-building financial benefits.
And here’s another thing: Money isn’t everything. There are other factors besides finances that should effect your decision to rent or buy, and I’ve listed some of those above.
Maybe, in the future, I will consider buying a condo where all of the maintenance and outside upkeep is handled by a property management company.
Maybe. For now, I’m proud to be a renter.
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