The news says millennials can’t afford to buy houses, but wow, they must’ve forgotten to survey my mates. Somehow, my social media feeds are flooded with people my actual age buying themselves actual houses with multiple bedrooms that they’ve bought with their actual salaries. And each time I see another one bite the dust, a little bit of my soul dies all over again. So today, we’re dedicating this article to our fellow renters.
If you, too, are feeling a bit sorry for yourself because you’re not quite at the buy-house-get-poodle-start-renovating stage of life that some of your friends and peers are at, we’re right there with you.
We’ve compiled a list of all the top benefits of renting — for two reasons: To make you feel a little less glum about your housing sitch, and, well, to give you ammunition for your next run-in with your cashed-up home-owning mates.
One of the major benefits of renting a house is the flexibility and freedom it allows you. Fancy moving suburbs? You got it. Decide you want a garden? Go forth! Want to abandon your real life and drive around barefoot in a van and read Harry Potter to your cat? No strings attached here! While there are downsides to the contract nature of renting, it does give you a lot more flexibility to change jobs and move houses, cities, or countries at the drop of a hat.
Unless you’re a bajillionaire, there’s a good chance the areas where you’ve rented properties aren’t the same ones you could afford to buy. With rents in trendy inner city suburbs substantially more affordable than the price tags to buy, being a renter can give you a greater quality of life by allowing you more control over where exactly you call home.
Being a homeowner comes with responsibilities — but when you rent a house or apartment, a lot of those responsibilities are your landlord’s to consider. If your air conditioner breaks down or you get a leak after a big storm, your landlord is responsible for the cost and organization of the repairs. For that reason, renting your home can be a more financially sensible option if you’re not in a position to have a solid emergency fund in place.
Until recently, one of the most common benefits of homeownership vs renting has been the ability to paint, hang wall art, or get a pet — as traditionally tenants don’t have as many freedoms as owner-occupiers. But in more and more places, renter’s rights are on the rise. In some parts of Australia, landlords can no longer refuse pets without giving a valid reason — and their dislike of Spoodles doesn’t cut the mustard. With more rights on the renter’s side, there are new perks to not owning your home.
Some people insist that renting is ‘dead money’, but this is quite an antiquated view. Renting is a reality for so many people nowadays, because of rising property prices and different ways of living. Being a renter means you have much greater control over your expenses, and you can choose a property to live in that aligns with your financial goals. If you’re saving up to buy a home one day, or for another goal like travel or starting a business, being able to rent somewhere cheaply can help you get there faster. Plus, if you’re into investing in the stock market, renting can allow you more cash to allocate to your long-term investment strategy.
Emma Edwards is a finance copywriter and blogger, on a mission to humanize the financial services industry by creating meaningful content that’s accessible and empowering. You’ll find her penning money tips at her blog, The Broke Generation, sharing financial insights on Instagram, or injecting life into content for her business clients.