WARNING: This turned into a bit of a rant about doing what is right for you when it comes to buying or renting a home. Read on if you dare!
Buying your own home as opposed to renting one, seems to be a prerequisite of feeling like an adult. It comes with the list of how we’re supposed to go about our achievements in our lives.
Get good grades, finish school, go to university, get a job, get a car, get married, buy a house, have kids, teach our kids to do the same.
But what if you didn’t get on with how school works, didn’t want to go to university or don’t want to get married. Perhaps you want to have your own business or live in a way that allows you to travel the world and not be tied to a house.
Maybe you don’t want to have kids and maybe, just maybe you don’t want to buy a house. Maybe you want to be happy and being happy doesn’t involve any of those things mentioned above. Not a single one of them. Maybe just thinking about all those things makes you feel unhappy.
Renting a home comes with many benefits. Buying a home comes with many benefits too, finding which is RIGHT FOR YOU is your decision as you work out what YOU want. Not what other people think is right. And it comes with no age limit.
Here’s a list of the pros and cons, as I see them (this is NOT financial advice) if this is a decision you are in the midst of making or need to make in the future. Just as we have been recently which you can read a little more about here.
The benefits of renting a home instead of buying
- You’re not tied to one place to live. You can move around easily if you need to and if you find there’s mold growing like another human behind the sofa you can move out before it takes a toll on your health.
- You don’t need a 10% deposit or more to rent somewhere to live. Getting together, in most cases, the equivalent of a month’s rent can be much more manageable as a deposit for renting.
- Large maintenance tasks aren’t your worry. Keeping the place you live in a good state of repair and looking after it, is your responsibility but if the roof starts to leak or the windows need replacing, that’s a task for your landlord.
- If you don’t get on with your neighbours you’re not stuck with them for years if you don’t want to be.
- If your circumstances change and you can’t afford to pay for a three-bed house, then you can easily and quickly downgrade to a two bed flat if you need to.
The drawbacks of renting a home
- You don’t have an ‘asset’ which you can use to raise some cash or as collateral for getting finance. See what I mean by ‘asset’ below in the drawbacks to buying a home.
- You can’t always make your home, your home. You might not be given permission to decorate to your taste and you won’t be able to knock a wall down to let in more light and make your space flow better.
- Unless you have a long term agreement with your landlord it can feel a bit temporary and difficult to put down roots.
- Some landlords are created in hell (for the record most aren’t and it’s the few that bring down the many in reputation). You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever had one of these poor lost souls as your landlord. They have trust issues and generally treat everyone like they are out to do them over.
- You’re paying someone else’s mortgage and allowing them to use the house as THEIR asset instead of your own.
The benefits of buying a home instead of renting
- Your home is pretty much your home to do with what you want. You can decorate however you want to, knock walls down (as long as it’s freehold and not leasehold and you’ve spoken to a structural surveyor) and hang pictures wherever you want to.
- Eventually you’ll have an asset that you can use.
- You can stay as long as you want to.
- It’s possible to use your property to generate income whether that’s from renting a room, doing supper clubs, running a business from the kitchen table, remortgaging or selling.
- You can set down deep routes if you’re going to stay awhile or not if you don’t want to. The beauty is that you have the option.
The drawbacks of buying a home
- Your home isn’t really an asset until you have paid the mortgage off. It’s still a debt when you have to pay for it every month.
- If you want to generate any income from the house from remortgaging or selling you’ll need to wait a while for the value of the house to go up which could be a few years.
- It can be taken from you by the bank if you can’t keep up with your mortgage payments.
- All the maintenance tasks are yours to deal with and pay for, no one else’s responsibility.
- A large chunk of your cash is tied up in a home until you sell it. The selling process can be a few months rather than a couple of weeks.
Finding what is right for you can be very difficult sometimes, especially if we’re trying to fit into the lives we are told should be a certain way.
I say, break the mould and do what is right for you, no one else.
Don’t make your kids do what you think they should be doing for their future either, or they may find themselves in the same predicament. Listen to them and help them work out what is right for them as they are the ones who will be living their future, not you. That goes for if your kids are already adults too.
If you’re buying a home rather than renting one and it’s becoming a dreaded task with no excitement in it, ask yourself if you’re buying it because you want to. Or is it because it’s a need for something in the future you’re planning for, or because it’s the thing you feel you should do. If you think renting would be a better fit then consider if that would be a better option instead. The most important thing is to do what is right for you and those that will live with you.