It Makes More Sense to Rent Than to Be a Homeowner — Here’s Why
Many people think of renting as “throwing your money away,” but I see it as a money-saving and flexible way to live.
Does it make more sense to rent or to become a homeowner? Although most people view owning a home as an important milestone, I’m never going to do it.
I don’t want to own a home — ever. I know what you might be thinking: Don’t you want to settle down somewhere? Or, But it’s a good investment! Or maybe, It’s great to have a place to call your own.
I call it BS. It may seem like an investment to you, but being a homeowner seems to me like an expensive trap. Between a down payment, closing costs, home repairs, maintenance, taxes, and more, homeownership looks to me like a big mouth that swallows your money.
Homeowners often retort that renting is just throwing money in the trash. Um, no? It’s not.
You’re trading money for a place to live. In exchange? You get convenience, mobility, and flexibility.
I Enjoy Flexibility
One of the main things I enjoy about my life and my career is flexibility. That’s better than being a homeowner! I have a location-independent job, which means I can work from anywhere. I don’t have kids or a house, and I enjoy being able to explore, travel, and move whenever I feel like it.
Over the past six years, I’ve lived in three states. Even though I just moved recently, I can’t say where I’ll be in five years.
Will I be in the same place? I’m not sure. And that doesn’t scare me — it excites me.
Because I value flexibility and don’t have a plan to settle down anywhere, it doesn’t make sense to purchase something that is illiquid and could hold me down.
Home Prices Are Insane in Certain Locations
If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’m a city girl through and through. My stint in Portland proved that to me. While Portland isn’t super small, I prefer metropolises — big, sprawling, diverse cities that I can get lost in.
I currently live in L.A., and while rent is nothing to sneeze at, homeownership (especially as a freelancer) is downright outrageous.
Buying a home in L.A. proper (because, once again, I am not a suburbanite) could mean paying between half a million and one million dollars. Sign me up for a “no, thanks.”
I’m Averse to Debt
I’ve always hated debt with a passion. Though I took out student loans to afford college, I didn’t get my first credit card until age 28 because I feared debt so much.
After I paid off my student loans a few months ago, I committed to being debt-free for the rest of my life.
Though many people think mortgages are “good debt,” I don’t believe in distinguishing between “good” and “bad” debt. It’s debt — plain and simple. I don’t want half a million dollars of debt hanging over my head, especially if it’s for something I’m not even into.
As a millennial, I value my lifestyle, experiences, and flexibility. For those reasons — among many others — I will never be a homeowner, and I’ll be a happy lifelong renter.
If you’re thinking of buying a house because that’s what you think you’re supposed to do, really assess the mortgage costs over time, as well as taxes, insurance, repairs, etc. Consider whether owning a home will add to or detract from your lifestyle.
For me, owning a home seems like a dead weight that would keep me trapped, all while constantly sucking my money like a giant vacuum. And who knows when the next Big R (that is, recession) will wallop you, turning the needle back on all that so-called capital gain?
No, I don’t want to be house rich and cash poor. I’ll rent and have the flexibility to move where and when it pleases me. And if something breaks, I’ll just call my landlord, and he can fix it.