As people weigh future lifestyle options, one choice frequently being evaluated by individuals facing retirement, empty nests, and professionals on the move, is whether it is more advantageous to be a homeowner or a renter. This article explores a few of the more common pros and cons and offers insights and advice for making the transition easier.
Advantages of Renting
The benefits of renting vs. buying are more meaningful than you might imagine. One of the more significant advantages is that you do not have to make a long-term commitment when renting. Home mortgages are financial commitments that you make for many years, until you sell your home or pay off the loan. In most cases, that means finding a buyer and using the sale proceeds to retire. With a lease agreement, you are likely committing to no more than one year at a time, and some property owners offer shorter term leases than that.
Other pros to renting often include the following:
- Amenities and conveniences
- Low maintenance or maintenance-free living
- Fewer expenses (repair bills, maintaining equipment, pest control, garbage collection, property taxes, upkeep of the home, etc.)
- Lower utility bills (if moving to a smaller home or an apartment)
These are great pros to keep in mind. However, there are some considerations to explore before you dive in and make a move.
Some consideration to renting to keep in mind include the following:
- Potential restrictive pet policies
- Loss of tax benefits
- Working with your landlord on when repair personnel show up and come into your home
- Limitations on changes you can make to the property (paint colors, layout changes, etc.)
- The possibility that you may need to move if the owner sells the home
While many of these considerations will not affect your daily life as a renter, they are worth keeping in mind and can help you make decisions about which rental spaces are the best match for your needs.
Making the Transition
One of the most important things to do when making the transition from a homeowner to the role of a renter is to hang up your home repair tool belt. That is someone else’s role now!
If you are transitioning to a smaller space, you will want to make sure that you can fit comfortably within the rented space. That might mean parting ways with a few possessions. Look at this as an opportunity to clear out the clutter and share memories with friends and family.
While there are some cons to renting, going from being the homeowner to being the tenant may reduce your workload and free up valuable time and money for other pursuits.