Is Renting the Smarter Move?Published: April 21, 2020
Rent or own? It’s a question many people ask themselves as they try to establish their personal and professional lives. Traditionally, renting an apartment, townhome or condo has always been considered a step in the process and rarely the endgame. Recent studies, however, have suggested that this attitude is changing.
Instead of viewing renting as a short-term phase, many people are choosing to rent an apartment because it offers more freedom, flexibility and less responsibility. In comparison, buying a house or condo can involve some serious saving and commitment. This is especially apparent for those currently living in expensive housing markets.
Whether starting-up their career or settling into retirement, people of all generations are seeking a lifestyle that offers financial stability, mobility and convenience.
Studies have shown that both younger and older generations are shifting away from homeownership because they simply can’t justify the hidden costs. In addition to closing costs and monthly mortgage payments, homebuyers will need to consider the ever-increasing costs of new appliances, rising property taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance and ongoing maintenance costs. Yardwork, repairs, upkeep — a lot of money goes into maintaining a house. Not to mention, they will also have to save a hefty down payment which may take years due to comparatively lower incomes and higher home costs.
An online study conducted by Anstice Communications noted that 36% of respondents believe that homeownership is a bad investment and 34% of respondents thought getting into the housing market was too expensive.
One of the major benefits of renting versus owning is that renters don’t have to pay property taxes and added fees such as rental insurance and utilities are significantly lower. When you rent, you’ll most likely have more free cash to sink into other investments, retirement planning and enjoying life.
Homebuyers also risk the possibility of losing their investment. Property values are continuously fluctuating, and while this may impact homeowners in a big way, it affects renters substantially less, if at all. The home value can change the amount of property taxes you pay, the cost of your mortgage, and more. In an unstable housing market, renters are not as adversely affected.
You Can Move Easily
Renting gifts you the ultimate flexibility. When you rent, you’re not tied down to any place long-term, meaning you can relocate quickly as needed. For people just entering the workforce or in the process of building their careers, the ability to relocate is a major bonus.
Even those who are in a financial position to purchase a home still choose to rent an apartment, so they have the flexibility to take advantage of new career opportunities across the globe. In comparison, it’s much more difficult and expensive to sell and purchase a new house within a short time frame.
Likewise, the flexibility to downsize is especially important for retirees who want a less costly, smaller alternative that matches their budget. When you're a homeowner, it's much more challenging to break free of an expensive house because of the fees involved with buying and selling a home.
Even more, renters can live virtually anywhere while homeowners are restricted to areas they can afford to buy. This means trendier, more desirable communities of the city are much more accessible to people who desire to live there.
Nothing More Convenient
Many people are choosing to rent over purchasing a home for the pure sake of convenience. Maintenance and daily chores such as snow-shoveling and mowing the lawn fall on the shoulders of homeowners, whereas those responsibilities for renters are handled by a property manager, like Boardwalk. If something breaks or goes wrong, renters just need to make a call or log into an online portal to make a maintenance request. As a homeowner, it’s all on you.
Even more, many rental apartments are now going above and beyond by offering high-end amenities that would otherwise be an enormous expense. Property management companies such as Boardwalk offer an array of upscale amenities such as fully-equipped fitness centres, social rooms, pools and more to enhance the resident experience. Many of these shared amenities are not be feasible for average homeowners to afford.
So, to buy, or not to buy? In today’s economy, the ability to avoid the hassles and financial uncertainty of homeownership is very valuable.