If you’re looking for your next living situation, you might have a common question on your mind. Should I rent or buy? Each choice has a list of pros and cons, but it depends on your situation. You may find that renting is the better option, or vice versa.
With that in mind, is renting a better option? Here are a few arguments for renting that might convince you.
1. You’re Not Liable for Repair
Renting an apartment or house is often cheaper than the alternative. When you buy a home, it’s up to you to maintain it. All repair and renovation charges come out of pocket, from water leaks to new floors.
Necessary fixes like roof repairs cost hundreds of dollars, which some homeowners can struggle to afford. When you rent, you’re not liable for these expenses. If you’re unable or unwilling to cover these costs, renting is likely the best choice for you.
2. It’s Not a Long-Term Commitment
The typical length of an apartment lease is one year. On the flip side, when you purchase a home, it’s yours forever, unless you decide to sell it. In this sense, the latter is a more permanent situation, especially because mortgages take about 10 to 30 years to pay off.
Some people prefer this, as they want to settle down in one location for the foreseeable future. Others don’t like the idea since they want to travel, have to move around for a job or aren’t ready for such a serious commitment. It isn’t always a bad idea to buy a home – you just need to ask yourself if it makes sense.
3. You’ll Enjoy More Amenities
These days, it’s standard for apartment complexes to offer loads of amenities like workout facilities, pools, conference rooms and coffee bars. Renters are often willing to pay more per month for these features.
Conversely, homes and condos with luxuries like these cost more money and require additional upkeep. If you can’t afford or don’t have the space to install a gym, memberships to fitness classes are another added expense. If access to perks like these matter to you, you’ll fare better as a renter.
4. Value Doesn’t Matter
Many factors contribute to the overall value of a house. For example, if you purchase a home and the area around it becomes unsafe over the years, you’ll have a harder time selling it. When you rent, you don’t have to worry about these losses.
Rental companies usually try to make their units cheaper when similar circumstances occur. Similarly, if you want to move out of a particular location, you only have to wait until your lease is up. A house is more of an asset than an apartment, which is why it’s prone to losses and gains in value.
5. You’ll Pay Lower Utility Costs
Remember, when you buy a home, it’s your responsibility. You’re accountable for the cost of utilities, from gas to water to cable. Prices for these depend on location and how many people live in the household. Larger families tend to spend more money on these expenses.
In some cases, a few utilities come included with rent. Many proprietors will cover water or trash removal for you. Others may have a deal with a local ISP that enables you to access the internet free of charge. If you don’t want to pay for some utilities, consider renting.
Ask Yourself a Few Questions
At the end of the day, whether you rent or buy comes down to your finances, needs and wants. Ask yourself a few questions before you go house hunting.
- Can I afford a down payment?
- What’s my credit score?
- Am I ready for all the extra costs?
- How long do I want to stay in one place?
If you find you’re not ready for such a big step, check out a few apartments. They might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about apartment living, home improvement and more on his blog. Check out Just a Regular Guide to read about similar topics, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates on his work.