When it comes to buying a home or renting, there are many things to consider. While there are tons of resources on the financial implications of both options, Iâd like to share my thoughts on buying versus renting from an intentional living and minimalist perspective. The decision to buy or rent is just as much a lifestyle decision as it is a financial one. Ultimately, if the decision to buy is made, a home affordability calculator is a great resource to get started.
Longevity and Flexibility
Itâs important to consider how long youâre planning to be in a certain area and how much location flexibility you need when youâre making the decision to buy or rent. When renting, the leases are typically 12 months or less and there may be options to work out a more flexible move-out date with the landlord or management company. If you end up needing to move to a different area, you have more flexibility to do so.
It becomes a lot more complicated if you need to move away from a home you own. Youâll likely need to sell the house or rent it outâoptions that require more time and resources than if you were renting an apartment. With the amount of investment and time that a house requires, itâs probably best to stay in a location for at least a few years if youâre going to buy.
Think about how you want to spend your time. Similarly, itâs also important to consider how much responsibility youâre willing to take on. During the time I lived in an apartment, I barely changed a light bulb. There were no repairs, no additional investment and no worries.
For the past five years Iâve owned a home, itâs a whole different experience. I spend time cleaning the gutters, mowing the lawn, buying and fixing appliances and other maintenance activities that you never have to think about when youâre renting.Â Â Â Regular or unexpected repairs can quickly add up to large sums when you own a home. Part of the benefit of renting is that you donât have to deal with or budget for anything like that.
Another thing to think about is how much customization and control youâd like to have. A home you own can be customized to your exact liking, a rental on the other hand has more limitations. From painting the wall a different color to making bigger changes to your living space, youâll have greater control if itâs your home. With a rental, any customizations would need to be approved by the owner.
Amenities are another lifestyle consideration when it comes to buying or renting.
Most likely, an apartment will have more amenities than a typical home, such as a workout room, pool, large party room or even a concierge service. Of course, you may have the option of building or adding similar amenities to a home you buy, but it can be pricey and impractical investment. If you want a pool without the cost and maintenance that owning one would require, then renting an apartment with a community pool is the way to go.
From my perspective, whether you buy or rent has a significant impact on your lifestyle, particularly over the long-term. Thinking about whatâs important to you and how you want to spend your time will help you determine what best fits your desired lifestyle.
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