4 Things You Should Consider Renting Instead of Buying

You’re throwing away your money on renting?

Some people hear you’re renting and their response is you’re doing something terrible for your finances. That’s not always the case – here are four things you should consider renting instead of buying.

Renting a house

You’re renting an apartment!!! You’re just paying someone else’s mortgage!

Renting can be a very smart decision. Renting a house or apartment is the best option if you:

  • are not sure about the area you want to live in
  • are unsure about your current job situation
  • don’t know where you want your kids to go to school
  • can’t afford a mortgage yet plus home maintenance and upkeep
  • have a lot of debt to pay off

Renting is usually cheaper than owning a house in the short term (when you factor in home insurance, upkeep, maintenance, etc.) Plus you don’t have to worry about fixing something when it breaks. You can use one of the Rent or Buy calculators to get a better idea of the costs.

When are you ready to buy a house?

When are you ready to stop renting a house and buying your own? First, you want to be out of debt and have a 3–6 month emergency fund.

Should you buy a house if you’re in debt?

What if you have debt and still want a house? While that’s a personal choice, your life becomes a lot easier when you’re only debt payment each month is a mortgage. Compare that to a mortgage, car payment, student loan payments, credit card payments, and so on.

Renting can allow you to save more

We sold my townhouse after we were married and lived in a rental for nine months while we transitioned.

And we also lived with my parents for an entire year renting a bedroom! Renting is not a bad thing. The time you spend renting lets you save up money and get your financial house in order first.

It’s easy to see your friends or family that own a home and feel bad because you’re renting. Renting isn’t a bad thing! It gives you freedom other people don’t have.

Renting equipment

My husband Scott keeps trying to grow a garden, but it hasn’t produced anything yet except lots of weeds. Every Spring the soil had to be dug up and prepped for plants.

While he could buy a $400 roto-tiller, he’s been renting one once a year from Home Depot for $75. Over many years it might be better to own one, but for now, it’s nice not to have to store a giant piece of equipment in the garage or have to get the engine serviced.

There are lots of expensive things it makes more sense to rent until you’re sure you want to own:

  • Sports equipment like ski/snowboarding gear, bicycles, golf clubs
  • Electronics like expensive cameras or lenses
  • Kayaks, canoes, camping equipment, jet skis
  • Carpet cleaners
  • Anything you can get at the Home Depot tool rental center

The Home Depot Tool Rental rents just about anything you can think of. And the prices for a 4-hour rental are a small fraction of what it costs to buy the equipment.

Renting clothes

I’m never going to pay $600 for a dress, but I’ve rented expensive dresses for special occasions for $60. And let’s face it, we don’t wear dresses very often. Why not rent one and get a brand new style for every wedding or party!

Check out Rent the Runway to find the perfect dress.

Rent a wedding dress

A wedding dress will be worn one time and then stored in a box for all but ten minutes of the rest of your life.

Sad story about my wedding dress. I pulled it out of the storage container on my five year wedding anniversary only to find it wasn’t my dress! After many phone calls, the dress cleaners admitted to giving me the wrong dress, and they couldn’t track down mine. I was very sad.

Renting a wedding dress for your big day can save you at least hundreds, if not a thousand dollars.

Renting textbooks

For college students, a huge expense is the books required each semester. Check out the Amazon Textbooks Store, so you don’t have to pay for your textbooks every year.

Renting things can be a great choice for your situation. Please don’t believe you must own everything you need or want in life.

While over the long term it can make financial sense to purchase things, often you make the mistake of buying something only to find it doesn’t get used as often as you thought it would.

Especially when it comes to housing –  the most important thing you should consider renting instead of buying. The time we spent renting after we got married is what allowed us to put 50% down on our dream house.

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