This article has a fairly sarcastic title. I will one day (hopefully) purchase a house, but as of right now I am certainly in no rush. I have been renting for 3 years now, and have come to truly enjoy the experience, when dealing with a responsible landlord.
First, a little background for why this is a sensitive subject in my world. I went to a high school with a lot of people who seemed like they really enjoyed going to high school. As soon as we graduated, they married people who went to our high school, and then did everything they could to purchase a house near our high school. Besides the amount of responsibility it takes to own a house, most of my friends are still trying to finish up their undergrad degrees, and still earn enough money for their “dream house”.
Maybe home ownership is truly the American Dream, but I am not so sure this is the case. I will list of some of the reasons I enjoy renting so much, even though according to my friends you “are just throwing money down the drain renting instead of buying.”
Home Ownership Is A Lot Of Work And I Am Pretty Lazy
When I first got married, we had an opportunity to rent a house at a significant discount. For a comparable area, the location would have cost upwards of $1,100 dollars and we ended up renting it for less than half that price. I was excited to get the “deal of a lifetime” and quickly accepted the living situation. What I quickly learned was I was not cut out to rent a house from a landlord that wanted nothing to do with the house. I was quickly overwhelmed with the amount of time I would need to spend on yard work alone.
When Things Break, You Are Responsible To Fix Them…No Matter The Cost
I live in the lovely state of Arizona. As most of you are aware, the weather in Arizona is perfect about 9 months a year. Those months of the year with our bad weather is very, very hot. We in Arizona are completely capable of avoiding the heat, but to do so we need an air conditioner. Not just an air conditioner, but a functioning air conditioner. My friend’s air conditioner went out this past summer in his rental property. As he watched the different air conditioning companies stop by his house to install the new air conditioner, he saw bids to replace the unit for up to $5,000 dollars. Had my buddy owned that house, he would have had to pony up that $5,000 himself. Since he was renting, he had 3 long days without AC, and then went on to live as normal without a rent increase.
When Renting From A Good Landlord, Items Are Fixed Quickly
Currently I am in an apartment complex that has won the award from the ownership company several years in a row for the way it has treated clients. We have only had 2 issues, and each one was solved within hours of making a simple phone call. One time I was out of town for the weekend, and had misplaced the key to get into my apartment. I was going to be home late on a Sunday night, and there was a service that was available for someone to come out and meet me at my apartment to let me in for a nominal fee. Everything has been lovely, and renting takes away a lot of the responsibility I either don’t currently want, or don’t have the money to pay for.
Although If You Do Rent, It Can Still Be A Terrible Experience
Our landlord was a really old lady living out of state. I would call her and she wouldn’t call back for weeks. Our air conditioning went out in July in Arizona and it wasn’t fixed for 3 weeks. The old lady left some of her belongings in the house, including a mysterious safe, which for some reason her kids needed to come and get documents out of at least twice a month. The moral of the story is, even though I was renting a house, I wasn’t really renting a house. I was of house-sitting, but her kids didn’t even let us do that. Overall it was a miserable experience, and one I was very anxious to have end.
Ultimately choosing to buy or rent a house is a decision only you can make. Right now, it is easiest for me to rent an apartment. In the future I hope to have children and hopefully an English Bulldog. If this is going to be the case, I would like to own my own place. Mint.com put out an excellent chart a while back that covers a lot of the issues a person should consider before they decide to rent or buy.
Brandon Tryon is a law student looking to specialize in Criminal Defense Work. With a business background, he hopes to eventually start his own law firm, and reads and studies personal finance for fun.