Hello Sophisticated Spenders!
The American dream of owning a home with a white picket fence is slowly changing. Many people are realizing the benefits and advantages of renting a home rather than owning one. As a landlord, I happily rent out a duplex in Chicago and a townhouse in the D.C. suburbs. I am also a renter myself!
Here are the reasons why I rent:
1: Avoid Maintenance and Repair Costs
As a renter, I’m not financially responsible for any maintenance or repair costs. If there’s leak in the roof or the heater breaks down, the landlord is responsible for paying the costs. Homeowners, on the other hand, are fully responsible for all the maintenance, repairs, remodeling, and/or redecoration costs. All of these costs can add-up very quickly, but I don’t have to worry about that as a renter.
2: Less is More
I used to live in a 1,500 square feet townhouse in the suburbs, but decided to rent a 500 square feet home in the city. And I love it! Having less space means spending less time cleaning and organizing, and spending more time pursuing what I value in life. I was also able to declutter my home and got rid of so many items that I never even used. All in all, renting a smaller space in the city has decreased my stress level and freed up my time.
3: Affordable Living in the City
I live in the Washington, D.C. area and real estate is extremely expensive. Owning a condo in D.C. can require up to $1,000 in monthly condo fees alone to access their amenities. I wouldn’t be able to afford the mortgage and condo fees if I owned a D.C. condo. Since I rent a condo from private owners, I’m able to enjoy the perks of living in the city and have access to great amenities the condo provides such as the fitness center, clubhouse, and pool.
4: Save Time and Money
Renting a condo in D.C. means I save an enormous amount of time and money. When I lived in the suburbs, I spent 2 hours of commuting everyday. Although I enjoyed watching movies and blogging during my commute on the train, I never enjoyed waking-up so early. Now, I’m able to save my time and money by walking to work (and walking home for lunch).
Renting a home with a 12-month lease gives me greater flexibility to move around compared to owning a home with a 30-year mortgage. If I have a career change, I can easily move to a different city. It wouldn’t be so simple with owning a home though. I’d have to go through the arduous process of selling my home. I also have greater flexibility in how much I want to spend on rent. Paying a typical 30-year mortgage will more or less remain the same. But I can always move to a different neighborhood with alternative renting costs.