Buying isn’t always the best choice
Words by Ashley Locke
Grow up, get married, buy a house, start a family—that’s the American Dream. Though for many homeownership is still a goal, a new generation of Americans have decided that owning a home isn’t a priority. Though conventional wisdom says that renting is throwing money away, there are benefits to renting. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision—but here are some pros and cons to help you decide what works best for you!
- Owning your home helps you build equity. It’s common for homes to increase in value and be sold for more than the purchase price.
- You can make changes to your home without asking permission from a landlord—from hanging art to replacing flooring.
- A permanent residence allows you become rooted in a place, growing and connecting with your local community.
- A mortgage is almost like rent control—your monthly cost won’t increase year over year.
- Mortgage costs plus property taxes, insurance, and other expenses, can often add up to be more than the cost of renting.
- It’s not as easy to move for a new job or opportunity—you could end up paying two mortgages while waiting for your home to sell.
- Maintenance and upkeep are your responsibility, which is both a financial and time investment.
- Buying a home requires a large financial investment upfront.
- It’s easier to pick up and move for a new job, for fun, or because you’re unhappy with your living situation.
- Maintenance and upkeep are taken care of by your landlord, which saves you time and money.
- When all expenses are taken into account, renting can have a lower monthly cost than buying, freeing up extra money for food, travel, or investing.
- You can easily test out living in different locations (rural, urban, or suburban) and different types of housing (apartment, townhome, or single family home.)
- Your monthly cost is fixed only as long as your lease. A landlord can increase your costs year over year.
- Your landlord can decide to sell the home you’re renting at any point, leaving you scrambling to find a new place to live.
- You can’t make changes to the home without permission from the landlord—including paint color and hanging things on the wall.
- You aren’t building equity with your monthly payments.
What folks have to say:
“We could afford to buy, but I view a house as a liability, not an asset.” - Payton D.
“As someone who loves interior design, I love having the freedom to truly make my space my own.” - Liz B.
“We’ve put a lot of love into our house, and we’re happy but also tired and frustrated with different problems we keep finding.” - Charles D.
“We don’t talk enough about how it stinks being single-income and having to rent somewhere that costs more than most mortgages.” - Victoria C.
“We prefer the flexibility of being able to leave and move whenever we want, no matter the real estate market.” - Danielle H.
“I love the sense of stability and home I’ve been able to cultivate. It’s very quaint, and my dog has a yard all her own!” - Ashley C.
“We own our home, and sometimes we’re like, ‘Why did we do this?’ We’re not savvy with maintenance, and it’s a lot of upkeep.” - Casey H.
“I moved to a cool place and noticed that rent was climbing. I locked in a mortgage, and now I don’t have to worry about getting priced out.” - Austin W.
“We knew we would be planted in Nashville for years. We went with a townhome for the sake of being pretty low-maintenance.” - Hayley F.
“I’m still realizing how expensive owning a home can be. Technically, my mortgage is cheaper than my rent was, but now I have to pay more taxes, higher utility bills, insurance, etc. It all adds up very quickly!.” - Rachel I.
“The home I bought wasn’t my dream home by any means, but it was affordable. Five years later, it has doubled in value, and the area has grown tremendously.” - Kevin L.