home ownership

10 Reasons To Rent

If I had a cocktail for every time my mother e-mailed me and told me that “Carrie, honey, now is the time to buy”, then I’d be one drunk ‘lil lady.  (Love you, Mom!)

If you’re a 20-something like me, you probably know that renting instead of buying is the biggest financial no-no according to our parent’s generation.  It has been ingrained in them to buy, buy, buy.  Sure, you earn equity in a home and enjoy that warm, fuzzy feeling of “home ownership”, but what’s the rush if you’re not prepared?

Lloyd and I plan to enjoy all the perks that renting has to offer until we are 100% financially able to purchase our dream home.  Check it out:

1. I flushed my deodorant down the toilet.  True story.  I was rushing to get ready for work one morning and somehow simultaneously flushed the toilet while knocking deodorant into it at the same time.  How is this possible?  I still have no idea.  But, damn, that Lady Speed Stick was jammed in there and was not going ANYWHERE.  Lloyd and I don’t know Rule #1 when it comes to fixing a toilet.  Thank God we can just call our apartment fixer guy, er…I mean, Maintenance Man.

2. Snow in April.  It’s Kansas City.  The weather is out of control.  My apartment complex shovels my walk way and my driveway for free.  No further explanation necessary.

3. Lawn Boy.  Although I don’t mind mowing the lawn (hell-oo tanning and leg workout package deal), it’s still not as fun as lounging by the pool on a Saturday afternoon.  Plus, who knows how much a lawn mower is these days?

4. No Interest Payments.  Lloyd and I are planning to buy a house in the $200,000 range and plan to put 20% down as to avoid the dreaded PMI insurance.  I did a quick mortgage calculator online this morning based on an $180,000 loan at a 5% interest rate and the numbers scared me.  For a 30 year loan, we’d pay some $175,000 in interest over 30 years.  Our goal is to be financially stable enough to qualify for a 15 year loan.  Guess how much interest we’d pay on a 15 year loan? Approximately $75,000.   I’m sorry, but home equity or no home equity, if I can rent for a couple extra years to save $100,000 in interest, I’m gonna do it.

5. PMI Insurance.  It always amazes me that people my age rush into buying a home so fast they can’t put down 20% and get hit with the PMI Insurance.  For a $200,000 loan at 5%, PMI Insurance is about $170 per month.  I know some people avoid this by taking out an 80/20 loan, but why not avoid all that hassle but just saving for awhile longer?

6. Amenities.  I mentioned last week how great it is to walk across the street to my apartment gym versus driving 10 minutes across town to my regular gym.  Plus, on top of the gym, there is the pool, the free DVD library, the free mountain bikes, racquetball, free Wifi, and free continental breakfast.  (I swear I don’t live in a hotel…)

7. Cheap Rent. Our monthly rent is way cheaper than what we’d pay on a house even with a 30 year loan.  This is allowing us to save about $3,000 per month in total to put towards our down payment and other savings.  Not to mention the fact that we don’t have to shell out a month of savings if our air conditioner breaks down.

8. Live in Luxury.  You can live in a part of town that you normally wouldn’t be able to if you bought a home.  The homes around our apartment are in the $400,000 to $1 million range.  Umm, that is so out of our price range.  But, as renters, we get to enjoy the neighborhood for less!

9. Referral Bonuses.  I just received received $250 for referring a friend that lives in the complex I moved into.  Can’t beat free money!

10. Renter’s Insurance & Property Taxes.  My renter’s insurance covers WAY more than I even own and I swear it’s like $10 a year.  CNN Money says the average annual amounts for property taxes and homeowners insurance are $3,500 and $481, respectively.  After my calcuations, $10 is less than both of those amounts.

Of course, there are plenty of cons to renting.  I could go on and on about how many times I’ve cursed my neighbors for playing their music late at night or not being able to get a close parking spot.

Lloyd and I don’t want to rent forever and we have lofty dreams for our first home.  But, until then, why not enjoy the little things that renting has to offer while we can?


  • It’s funny that you broke it down that way but it is TOTALLY true! I have friends who have purchased homes/condos and as fabulous as they are they are they are constantly fixing something or worried about the next thing- not to mention the fear of losing their jobs and not being able to pay their mortgage! I found a happy medium- I’m renting a house! I do miss the apartment complex amenities like the gym, but we do have a decent pool and we have so much more space. When it comes down to it, I want to be able to afford my house and enjoy it without living in fear!

    • Agreed! There are definitely pros and cons to both situations. I’m just going to focus on the pros – in whichever situation I may be in! Ha ha!

  • Thanks for posting about the joys of renting. I’m 32 and tired of hearing from my dad and friends that I’m throwing money away, it’s never been a better time to buy, you’d be crazy not to buy right now, etc. It’s not a good time until YOU are ready to buy. As for me, for now I like renting because of everything you listed and also just the freedom of being able to move to a new city at a moment’s notice if necessary.

    • I hear ya! My mom always gets in a little jab about buying. I have plenty of friends that are crazy in debt from buying a house and dealing with fixes that would probably be financially comfortable if they had just rented a couple more years. Thanks for reading!

  • But when you move out of that apartment, you have no equity. When I was your age, I bought my first home and 30 years later, I am living in a house that is paid for. So I pay no rent. Can’t beat that.

    • You are so right. However, I am just not lucky enough to have enough money for a down payment, so I am trying to find the perks of renting! As with everything, there are some perks. My dream is to one day buy a home, but I plan to rent until I am ready. I also would like to save enough to be able to pay off my home in 10-15 years. Thanks so much for reading!

  • The homeownership rate in the U.S. is nearly 69 percent — indicating that homeownership is within reach for more Americans than ever before. In fact, it can be as affordable as renting, and in some regions of the United States, it can be more affordable. The following are some of the advantages of owning a home rather than renting. You can build equity; this means your wealth will increase as you gain more home equity. You can gain tax advantages, because mortgage interest is tax deductable. A home provides a permanent place where your family can live and grow, and you can decorate or expand a house the way you like to create your dream home. If you are interested in buying a home, check out Vintage at Lighthouse Point, a luxury townhome community in Lighthouse Point, Florida. For more information call (954) 943-7754 or visit the website at http://www.vintageatlighthousepoint.com.

  • @Amber — I agree with many of your Top 10! I am actually doing both right now….I own a home, which was previously my primary residence, which I now rent-out as a corporate relocation house (2 year lease). Now I rent in a location where I probably wouldn’t be able to afford to buy anyways! Good stuff and I plan to come back often to your site.

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