This is a post by Sarah Greesonbach
My husband and I have rented for years and we plan to rent for a few years more. Besides the fact that we don’t know how long we’re interested in living where we are now, we aren’t in a financial place to buy. It’s hard enough keeping our savings account going strong, let alone saving ten to twenty thousand dollars for a down payment!
While I know this means we “throw away money each month” instead of “investing in a long-term asset,” this is the right solution for us right now and it is saving us money in the short term. Here’s just a few of the financial benefits of apartment living that have us happy to live where we do:
- I rarely drive. Since I work from home and our apartment is located in a mini-downtown type area, I rarely drive. Most months, I drive to church on Sundays and to a social event on Tuesdays, and that’s about it. If we were to buy a house, our price range would put us much farther from my friends and grocery stores, so I would drive a lot more. That would lead to spending more on gas, getting more frequent oil changes, and causing more wear and tear on our car. If you rent in an affordable city like Columbus, for example, and you don’t drive, you’ll be saving a ton of money.
- When things break, we’re not out $500. This is a tried and true reason to rent. When the heat goes out at 9pm, or the toilet overflows with no obvious cause, my husband and I are calling emergency maintenance for free, not plumbers or HVAC companies on overtime. Ideally if you own a house you have a savings account just for these kinds of things, but it’s been a relief to not have to fund a new microwave or dishwasher in the apartments where those items have broken.
- We don’t spend seasonal outdoor money. Home owners have all kinds of seasonal costs, from mowing and raking (and you need a lawn mower and a rake and time to do it) to salting and shoveling. In our apartment, we have covered parking for our cars and no outdoor space to maintain. This also means we don’t have to worry about seasonal decorations like Christmas lights or pumpkins (though we do get a few pumpkins for the house each year), or mulch and gravel for making the outdoors pretty in the spring and summer.
Those are just three things that come to mind immediately, but I am sure there are more. And that’s why we’re going to continue renting for a few more years until we find our forever home.
Do you rent? Do you love it? At what point are the costs that come with home ownership worth it?