Do Renters Have It Better?

Several years ago, a successful agent who had “temporarily” moved into his in-laws’ old house said to me, “I’m never owning again.”  It struck me as odd.  Here was  a successful agent working in an industry that depends on buyers and sellers buying and selling saying that his temporary rental was going to become permanent.

His reasons?  It wasn’t mowing.  He still had to do that.  The expense? In many cases, including his, a mortgage payment is cheaper than rent. flexibility? He has kids in school and a good job, so he wasn’t planning on an escape to sunny California at some point.

The reason was responsibility.  As a renter, he was no longer responsible for the house he was living in.  If something needed maintenance, or broke, or started leaking, he just called the landlord.  Or even…ignored it!  Oh that does sound sweet!  To put the expensive and overdue needed maintenance to my chimney out of mind, go to bed, and let someone else worry about it…even if that other person is your mother-in-law.

But alas, I enjoy the rewards of home ownership too much.  I just can’t give up these benefits:

1.  I love my neighborhood! Only one house on my block has come up for rent in the last 5 years.  If I wanted to rent, I’d have to give up living on this block.

2.  I love my house! I could never have found this house if limited to rentals. Purchasing opens up way more options.

3.  You have to pay to live somewhere. Eventually, I will own my home free and clear.  As a renter, I would just be helping my landlord say the same about the house I continue to pay her to live in.

4.  Speaker cables.  I can drill into the basement and run my cables under the floor.  I can’t go back to hiding cables along moldings and under rugs.

5.  Control! Sure my old windows are drafty and leaky and expensive to replace, but at least I can replace them if I choose. Those old windows in your rental?  Ha!  Fat chance of your landlord ever replacing those.  Need permission to paint?  Nope!  Hate that brass light fixture from the 90’s? It’s gone!  Wish there was a pass-through from the kitchen to the dining room? Break on through to the other side!