When you’re ready to leave the nest, or even just upgrade to a bigger home, you might be faced with the decision to rent or buy. There was a time when owning a home was a bit of a status symbol – but times have changed. In 2015, renting has its perks. The real estate market is in a volatile place, and young people may not feel secure in investing such a tremendous amount into a market that is unstable.
House prices across Canada has also increased drastically – for a single family home in Vancouver you are looking at upwards of a million dollars – and we’re not even talking something with tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool.
Renting is fast becoming a preferred option for millennials who value freedom and don’t want to become “house poor”. Let’s take a look at five of the leading reasons why renting can be a better choice than owning a home.
1. Renting doesn’t tie you down – owning does.
When you rent a home or apartment, you sign a lease. That lease may be for any length of time as agreed to by the owner and tenant. If you want to take a 3-month trip to Europe in the near future, you can find a rental that comes with a 6-month lease. Then you can pack up and leave without looking back – or having to pay rent while you’re gone. When you own a home, you are in it for the long hall. If you take a trip, you are still going to have to make mortgage payments. And no one wants to be making mortgage payments from their hotel room in Rome.
2. Renting is easier on the budget.
This is true for multiple reasons. When you rent, you have the monthly rental amount to pay and (potentially) your utilities. When you own a home, you have to pay for everything. Toilet broken? Yup, you’re heading to Home Depot to fork out cash for a new pump. Fridge on the fritz? You guessed it – YOU are responsible for buying a new one. As a renter, when appliances break down or things go wrong around the house the landlord is responsible for repairs and replacements.
3. Home ownership is time consuming.
Renting comes with fewer responsibilities than owning a home. If you are renting a condo, townhouse, or apartment, chances are that you don’t have yard work to contend with. You can spend your weekends catching up with friends on a local patio or binging on your favourite show. When you own a home, all the maintenance creeps up on you and you might spend your Saturday cleaning out the drainpipes and mowing the lawn.
4. Renting allows you to save for the things that are important to you.
When you rent, your budget is predictable. You know what your monthly rent is and your utility costs. You aren’t ever going to have to unexpectedly pay for a new washer and dryer or an emergency plumbing call. This allows you to be able to put aside extra money for those things you really want – a trip, a new car, and a sweet HD TV. While home owners often find their extra funds going to necessities, you, as a renter, will have more freedom to have fun.
5. Renting gives you options.
As a renter, you aren’t tied down to your home. If you move into your new place and discover you have less than desirable neighbours or that you simply don’t love your new neighbourhood, you can move when your lease is up. You can try out different communities in your city and find out, through real experience, which one is best for you. You can even try out different living spaces – apartments, townhomes, or duplexes – to see which really suits your lifestyle best.
Renting is a fantastic option when you are looking to move to a new place. You get a great space to call home without being dragged down by all the responsibilities and costs of home ownership. Renting gives you the best of both worlds – a place to call home AND the freedom to live your best life.