Raise your hand if someone has ever told you that renting is a waste of money. I see you.
Trends have indicated that millennials are waiting until their late twenties and early thirties to enter the home buying market. That means many of us are still renting apartments or living at home in the meantime, because, well, we need to live somewhere.
And let’s be real, have you seen the prices of houses these days (or ever?)? Couple that with student loan balances, car payments, and credit card debt – we’re pretty much destined to be in debt for quite awhile unless we do something about it.
An estimated 42 percent of millennials are hoping to buy a home in the next five years. But just because we want a home, doesn’t necessarily mean we can afford one, which means we definitely should not buy one. It also doesn’t mean we want one right now, even if we would like to buy a home eventually.
There are many, many reasons twenty-somethings are renting instead of buying. Here are a few reasons I’m still glad that I’m renting and haven’t bought a house yet:
- while I may not own the space I’m living in, at least I don’t have to fix the broken garbage disposal or worry about anything that goes wrong (thank you, maintenance)
- I don’t plan to live long-term where I am now so buying a home here would only make any potential moves much more complicated
- living in an apartment gives me more flexible living options on price, location, and amenities
- while I’ve never done either, it’s a (much) simpler process to get out of a lease than a mortgage
- I don’t have a lawn to mow
- there’s no need to pay for a gym membership because I have a fitness center right downstairs
- renter’s insurance is cheaper than homeowner’s insurance
- I don’t have to worry about HOA (Home Owner’s Association) fees
Another major benefit is that I don’t pay for more space than I can afford. Paying for a home with a mortgage is kind of like going down the rabbit hole. You’ll be paying the same amount of money for 30 plus years, so why not get the biggest space in your price range? I think more square feet is more of a curse than a blessing. It’s more space to clean, more to fill up with useless junk, and is all in all, pretty unnecessary.
Frankly, home owning comes with a myriad of new responsibilities that many twenty-somethings, myself included, just aren’t ready for. At least for right now, I’d rather spend time doing things that add value to my life instead of to my house.
But buying is an investment, some might argue; by renting the only thing you’re doing is putting your money into someone else’s pocket. While this may be logically true, the fact is home buying and owning is more expensive than renting. And if we are taking on more than we can actually afford, it’s only putting us in a worse situation than if we just rented for a few more years.
Could I be putting my rent money towards something better? Honestly, no. Because I need a place to live – whether I own it or am just borrowing it for a little while.