We’ve all heard it right? Don’t rent, it’s dead money, you’re paying somebody else’s mortgage, blah blah blah. In this article (or rant), I talk about why I’m sick to death of being told renting is a worst-case scenario.
This is not a dig at anybody who longed to buy their first home straight out of uni or decided to get a mortgage in their early 20s. I’m a firm believer in you do you. Everybody has their own personal circumstances, life goals and whatnot, and who am I to tell anybody how to spend their money? However, why is it that if you’re renting your property, people feel the need to tell you that it’s a waste?
If I am capable of gritting my teeth when people tell me their number one priority in life is to buy a house, why can’t others do the same when I tell them I’m quite happy renting right now. I’m 29 years old, I earn £60,000 a year if I wanted to buy a house, I could make it happen. Believe it or not, some of us choose to rent and enjoy the benefits of renting… who knew it?
The Benefits of Renting
So before I compile my list, I just want to be clear about this. This is not a comparison of renting v buying and I’m not telling anybody not to buy a house if they want to. I guess what I’m trying to do here is explain to those who maybe feel or are made to feel like a failure for not buying their own home. Whether it’s because you can’t afford to, don’t want to, or simply haven’t thought about it, it’s okay to be turning 30 and not own your home.
It was 12 months ago that I decided I was moving abroad. I’d had enough of my life in the UK, I was stuck in a rut with my job, and I needed something new. There were a few things to think about; packing my stuff, handing my notice in at work, saying goodbye to people.
One thing I didn’t need to stress about was putting my house on the market and waiting for it to sell, or dealing with viewings and solicitors. I picked up the phone, called my landlord and gave my 30 days notice to leave, and off I went. This level of flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of renting, you’re not tied to any one area. Of course, a house can be sold and you can move wherever you want, but it’s much more of a process.
2. Value Isn’t Just Monetary
I absolutely love my rented apartment. It’s my home, even if I don’t own it. Yes, it’s not making me any money or isn’t an investment for my future, but it’s where I spend all of my time. It’s where I invite my friends around, where I laugh, where I cry.
There is more to where you live than whether you are getting any financial gain for doing so. For me, this sentiment perceived value is so important. The value I get from my apartment is worth the money I pay for it, and I’m happy with the price.
People will buy a car that depreciates rapidly, and will eventually be scrapped with absolutely no return on investment. So I don’t understand why a house can’t be home just because you don’t own it.
I have 2 options. I can stay with my parents for another 3 years so that I can buy a house. Or, I can move out, gain my independence and it takes a bit longer. So I take the second option because it’s the best for me. Why the rush to jump into a mortgage? Why does that need to be the first thing that you do?
You have to make sacrifices if you want to save for a deposit and buy somewhere, I know this. But for me, these extreme sacrifices like living with parents much longer, or even travelling less, just aren’t worth it. Ultimately, I’m going to buy a place eventually, right?
4. Unexpected Costs
One of my favourite things about renting is that I pay my monthly price and that’s that. A leak in the ceiling that could require a roof repair costing thousands? Not my problem. A broken boiler? Not my problem. These things don’t cost me a penny because the property isn’t mine.
There is ‘dead money’ involved in fixing something because you have to, that isn’t actually going to add any value to your property. Don’t get me wrong, this is part and parcel of being a homeowner and you sign up for it, but I’m quite happy getting it for free right now.
It’s Personal Choice, and That is Okay
Ultimately, whether you want to get on the priority ladder this second, or whether you don’t really mind when it happens, it’s entirely down to you. The 21st century has brought with it so much scaremongering about why you need to buy young, and why you’re making a mistake if you don’t.
If you’re not in the privileged position to have the choice, and you simply cannot afford to buy property any time soon, you’re not failing at anything by choosing to rent. Your home is where you live and where you spend most of your time, and so should be enjoyed thoroughly, rented or owned.