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5 Reasons Why It’s Better To Rent Than Own

When it comes to housing, we know one thing for sure — people have a lot of opinions. There are some who say renting an apartment is a waste of money, that you’re just giving your money away and getting nothing in return, unlike a mortgage, which leads to full home ownership at the end of the term. While in some ways this can be viewed as correct, we know that there are two sides to every story. Buying a home, let alone being approved for a mortgage, is unattainable for many, so we cannot place so much value on home ownership.

So, let’s flip this idea on its head and list why renting is superior to owning in many ways.

Five reasons why you should rent instead of buying

1. Freedom and flexibility

While home ownership makes financial sense if you’re ready to lay down some roots and live somewhere for a long time, if you like the freedom to move when you want and prefer making short-term commitments, renting is better.

With a rental apartment, the longest you’re committing to is a year, and even then you can usually negotiate your way out of a lease if you have to move sooner.

It’s easy to downsize into an apartment, as well. If you previously owned a home, you can sell and then rent, using the proceeds of your sale for your retirement or to pay off some debts without getting tied up in another mortgage.

cheerful partners holding hands

2. Low maintenance costs

When you don’t own the home, you don’t have to worry about basic maintenance costs. Now, of course this doesn’t give you permission to break stuff on purpose, but you’re definitely not on the hook for basic wear and tear.

This means repairing plumbing, electrical work and major appliances are not your responsibility. If your refrigerator stops working, you don’t have dispose of the old one, drive to the store to get a new one, and then install it. You just put in a request with your landlord, and it should get done.

Really, your responsibilities are to keep the place clean and to take care of appliances and fixtures — reporting all issues to the building. It’s pretty simple, and it just costs you what you pay already in rent.

3. Choice of neighbourhood

There are some sought-after neighbourhoods that are out of reach for most homebuyers. The prices are so high you cannot even get approved for a mortgage in that area. That said, if you have your sights on certain neighbourhoods, consider looking into the rental market.

Most times, not always, you can find rental buildings either in or adjacent to affluent neighbourhoods. While the rent might not be cheap, it can be a way to live where you want to live. If the neighbourhood is important to you — whether to be closer to work, or close to your children’s school — renting might be your best option if you don’t have the savings or the income to buy.

Father and his daughter

4. No down payment

While it is common for rental landlords to ask for first and last month’s rent upon moving in, that amount is nowhere near as big as what buyers are expected to pay down in order to secure financing. Down payments take some people years and years to save, which isn’t always an option for those living paycheque to paycheque. If you want to live someplace now and don’t have the time or money to wait, renting is better than buying.

Move in, figure out your monthly expenses, and you’re done. While some do save for an apartment, it’s usually a modest amount compared to what’s needed in today’s real estate market.

5. Lower insurance costs

Most renters just need to secure content insurance. This protects you against damage to your possessions in the event of a fire or flood. The property owner will have insured the whole building, and your monthly rent likely helps pay for that in a way — but that is not your responsibility.

The bottom line is you need to worry about insuring your possessions only, not the physical apartment. When you own a home, you need to have a home insurance policy, and that is way more money than you’ll likely pay for your content insurance.

In the end, renting just makes more financial sense for some people. Don’t let anyone shame you for choosing to rent. In the end, you have a relatively affordable place to live with fewer strings attached. Find your next rental apartment using!