Generally speaking, a person moves out of the family home, rents whilst they save for that all-important house deposit and then they get on the property ladder. Whilst there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s not the only way to do things. Long-term renting is an option too!
Not many people recognise and appreciate renting as a long-term arrangement, but in truth, it’s the way that increasing amounts of people are living. With house prices on the rise, getting on the housing ladder is becoming increasingly out of reach for many. For others, renting is a lifestyle that suits them perfectly; financial freedom and the flexibility to move around.
Personally, I will be renting long-term for the foreseeable future. I know that I can’t afford a mortgage for a property in St Albans. It’s an affluent area, with the average terraced property price sitting at around £440,000 and £590,000 for a semi-detached. If I wanted to purchase a house, we’d have to relocate areas – and that’s not something that we want to do. Renting allows us to live where we want to live, and that’s a huge plus point for me.
In fact, there are a few huge benefits of renting that I would really miss if I ever purchased a house…
Although we are very happy in St Albans, I love the fact that if we wanted or needed to move, we could easily pick up and relocate – even if it was just to the next town or village. When you buy a house, you enter into arguably the biggest commitment of your life, both financially and otherwise. You’re committed and rooted to one property until the universe aligns and you can sell your house and buy another. It can take as long as a year and can be a complex and stressful process.
The flexibility and fluidity are top benefits of renting if you’re the kind of person who wants to experience different places and maybe explore other avenues of their career that might require moving around a little, your property is never going to be the thing that holds you back. Millennials in particular are changing jobs more than ever before – renting means you won’t be restricted with where you want to go in life whilst you have the opportunity to chop and change.
Another thing I love about renting is that it’s simple. You pay your rent each month and you look after the property as if it was your own; it’s plain sailing. Once you own a house, you’re responsible for everything that comes with it. If the roof leaks, you’ll be diving into those savings to try and get it fixed. If the boiler breaks, it’s you that has to sort it out.
The beauty of renting is that all these things become your landlord’s problem. So long as you have a good landlord who won’t leave you waiting weeks to carry out repairs, all you need to do is keep an eye on things, pay your rent and relax. If they are a good and reputable landlord, they’ll be covered with landlord insurance, so if things do go wrong, it won’t be half as much as a headache.
More money for the things that matter
I know that a lot of people will think that renting is a waste of money; you’re lining someone else’s pockets and paying off their mortgage instead of your own. But think instead about the lifestyle that renting brings.
Getting on the housing ladder is a very costly process. We’re talking huge deposits, stamp duty tax, solicitors fees… the list goes on. These things can take years to save up for, which could mean missing a family holiday or two, turning down parties and meals out.
Renting on the other hand frees you up with more money for the things that matter. Sure, there are a few upfront fees and costs involved with moving into a rental property but aside from that, all you have to worry about is your rent and possibly also your bills depending on your tenancy agreement.
When you move into a rental property, it might even come furnished. That’s less money to be spent. Even if you’re not keen on the furniture and appliances provided, you can gradually swap them out for things that you can keep forever. That way, you’re not parting with a big lump of cash trying to kit out an empty house.
In short, long-term renting is a lifestyle choice for many people. Just because you’re not on the property ladder, it doesn’t mean that you’re not winning at life. There are many unsung benefits of renting that seem to get overlooked in favour of buying. We’re happy renting for the foreseeable – it’s allowed us to live life our way!
*This is a collaborative post