Why Rent?

Uncertainty.  If circumstances require you to sell your home quickly, depending on the housing market, you may not be able to do so.   The result: you’re stuck with a mortgage and a home you can’t sell.  If you had rented, your worst case scenario would have required you to pay a maximum of two months rent if you hadn’t given proper notice.  Those with insecure or volatile jobs, contract workers, and the elderly should consider renting. 

Difficulty in buying/selling a houseLet’s face it, buying and selling a home is difficult, time consuming and expensive.   Buying a home involves looking at many different and complex options and/or dealing with expensive real estate agents.  The difficulty in making the proper choice is compounded by the amount of money you are spending: it’s a huge decision.   Once again, if you make a mistake, it could be costly.  And again, selling involves the same sacrifice of time, or you may not even be able to sell when you want, or at the price you want.  Renting is a completely different experience.  If you are searching through a property manager, they absorb the cost of the search for you; most have many options, locations and price ranges to suit your needs.  If you make a mistake renting, you simply give notice and leave.  Your only loss is two months of unhappiness, and having to move your things.  Those who value convenience, simplicity and safety should consider renting.

Bills, bills, bills.  Homeowners have a lot to worry about.  Mortgages, heating bills, insurance bills, water bills, maintenance bills, property taxes, etc.  The list goes on.  A degree in accounting may be necessary to make your yearly budgets.  If you rent, depending on your arrangements, your landlord pays for PUC, property taxes, etc.  Your basic rent is your only responsibility, unless you choose minor options like phone, cable, and any subscriptions.   Some may consider only those three options a hassle.  Imagine owning a house!   Those who can’t budget properly and/or those who enjoy having as few worries as possible should consider renting. 

Declining house prices.  The days of buying a house, paying off the mortgage and selling it years later for an impressive gain are over.   The baby boomers may have pushed up housing prices in the eighties, but they all have homes now.  The result: shaky housing markets where you may have trouble selling your house for what you paid for it.  Buying a house is not the safe investment it used to be – let the buyer beware.  Those who are worried that their “investment” may actually be a risky investment should consider renting.

Down payment problems.  Securing a mortgage requires some form of down payment.  This is often a sizeable figure – depending on the terms of your desired mortgage.  Those who can’t afford a down payment, or those who are saving up for a down payment in the future should consider renting.