I've never really understood why people hate on renting so much. Sure it's the "American Dream" to own a home with a white picket fence and a golden retriever running around the yard, and paying rent is equivalent to throwing money down the drain ... but you know what? When a pipe bursts, all I have to do is make a simple call to my landlord. Yard work? What's that?
Financial expert Jill Schlesinger for CBS's Money Watch segment encourages renting. "The reality is, sometimes renting makes more sense. You have to go through and say, 'Okay, if I'm going to buy a half million dollar place, I have to put $100,000 down, then I'm going to have a mortgage, and then taxes, then I'm going to have insurance, then I have maintenance (which is a pain in the neck, by the way)." Then, you need to really look and say, 'What's the comparable rent that I could pay to get pretty much the same thing?', you may find that it's going to cost you $6,000 to own, but only $3,000 to rent. Keep renting!"
So, to rally on the rentals, here are our top ten reasons to rent instead of own:
- Fancier Living: You may not ever be able to afford to own it, but with renting, you can enjoy that luxury condo overlooking the ocean.
- Perks!: A lot of apartments come with community pools and gyms. My favorite thing about the apartment complex that I lived in during college was the massive swimming pool they had. My roommates and I would spend hours in the summer working on our tans, flirting with the cute neighbors, and sipping on margaritas juice. And think of all the money you'd save on gym memberships.
- Water/Heat Included: Oftentimes, apartments come with water and heat included, so that's less bills that you have to keep up with. And the world is simply better with less bills to pay.
- No Need for Weeding: I've never mowed a lawn. Ever. I've never felt the hot summer sun on my back as I pushed a heavy lawn mower across a yard, drowning in my own disgusting sweat. Perks of renting!
- When the Move Bug Bites ...: While renting, the worst case scenario is waiting a year to move. Bad landlord? Peace out. Annoying neighbor? Buh-bye! With a home it's a much stickier process.
- No Maintenance Background Needed: As I mentioned before, whenever a pipe bursts or any other maintenance issue comes up, I just place a simple whiny call to my landlord and he comes and fixes it while I awkwardly sit on my couch.
- Momentarily Cheaper: There's a lot of us financially struggling thanks to this economy, and while it may be "money down the drain," I'm not spending nearly as much as I would be on a monthly mortgage.
- Home Prices Fluctuate: Is it a buyers' market or sellers' market right now? I have no idea, because I don't have to know ... I rent!
- No Risks: If you do try to sell your home during a bad economic time, you're at risk for losing money. But with renting, you (hopefully) get a nice deposit check back.
- Property Taxes and Insurance: No taxes for renting, and renters' insurance is way cheaper than home owners' insurance.
Do you rent or own your home? Which do you prefer?
Image via cincyproject/Flickr