When searching for a place to call home, there are a lot of things to consider. Do you want to live somewhere urban, suburban, or rural? Do you want to live on your own or split the costs with someone else? Of all the questions to ask yourself when property-hunting, though, “Should I buy or rent a house?” is probably the most important.
Renting might seem like the easier option, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Here’s why:
It’s a Bottomless Pit for Money
Renting and buying may seem comparable at first glance, but dig a little deeper and it quickly becomes apparent how dramatically different the two situations are. Sure, both require regular payments in the form of rent and mortgage. And rent is usually cheaper than a mortgage, so it might seem like a better option. Except that mortgage comes with an added bonus: equity.
The more you pay in, the more ownership of the property you receive. Rent, meanwhile, earns you nothing but another month indoors. Eventually, mortgages end and you end up with a house that’s all yours to do whatever you wish. Rent, meanwhile, never ends until you move out, and when you do, you leave with nothing more than what you arrived with.
It’s Like Living with Your Parents
Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you that you couldn’t simply do whatever you wanted because it was “their house, their rules.” Well, renting is like being stuck in the same situation, even when you’re an adult and even when you’re paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars a week for rent and utilities. In other words, you have to completely sacrifice your independence.
Want to paint the walls of your home a different color? You have to get permission from the landlord first. Want to adopt a dog or cat? You’ll have to hope that your landlord doesn’t have a “no pets” policy. Want to have friends or family visit overnight? Too many nights in a row could get you in trouble for housing “undeclared tenants.”
It’s Not Something to Count On
Owning a home comes with numerous added bonuses, but the biggest one is probably the sense of security it provides. Once a property is yours, it’s yours. No matter how bad things get, you at least know you have a place to stay and something valuable you can make money from, if need be. Renting offers no such reassurance. In fact, it necessitates the opposite: constant uncertainty.
As noted earlier, renting a home means living under someone else’s rules and generally having no control over your housing situation. But far worse than not being able to decorate your home how you want or own pets is the knowledge that you could become homeless at any time. Eviction is one thing, but your landlord could decide to sell their property to someone with no desire to rent it out at all, leaving you homeless.