I see people all over the internet all the damn time, spouting off about how money spent on rent is a big ol’ waste. ‘Why would you want to line other people’s pockets!?’, they roar. ‘You may as well be paying off your mortgage!’ and that old chestnut ‘RENTING IS A WASTE OF MONEY!!!!’
I get it, I honestly do. And yes, I would love to buy a house in the near future, and it is my biggest priority, but I’m not rushing. I don’t want to live in a house that’s worse that the one I live in now (my rent’s super cheap and it reaaally close to work).
Location, location, location
(Is that phrase trademarked? Will Kirsty and Phil be around to tell me off??)
If you’re in that much of a rush to get on the property ladder than you’ll live in squalor for a year or two, go for it. I’m afraid I’m a little too much of a princess for that.
Now, I’m not saying that I’d refuse to live anywhere than the Ritz – I’m realistic. In fact, I would be more than happy to spend the rest of my life in my current, TINY home if it had a garden. (Also, I’d have to convince my landlord to sell it to me). Therefore, I won’t move somewhere that doesn’t have one. And by a garden, I’m not meaning anything fancy. I literally just want somewhere where I can sit outside on a warm day. It doesn’t have to be big or south facing or anything like that.
I also want to stay close to work. That may seem inflexible, but I’m not hugely attached to my job, and would be willing to get something else. Oh, and since I’ve not written a post in YONKS, I feel I should tell you that after having a little job change last year, I’ve since returned to my old one. I didn’t hate the new job or miss the old one; it just so happened that my old boss needed someone to do 9-5 (I’d previously done split shifts) and he gave me a decent pay rise. Noice.
Saving up for a deposit started out very positively, but then when I switched jobs I was working significantly fewer hours and I spent several months on a training wage. Not fun. We also had to replace our car and other little things which soon mount up. Still, we’re trying to get back into it with a vengeance, so fingers crossed.
I also want a fairly sizeable deposit. You get a MUCH better rate if you have 20% mortgage and man, do I hate paying interest. Obviously, if something came up that was perfect and we only had 5%, we’d look into it, but I’d really prefer a bigger lump sum, which brings me onto my next point…
I need to research how much money one should have alongside the deposit for things like legal fees and surveys. I also suppose we’ll need an emergency fund for, e.g. if the boiler breaks. Or do we get boiler care? Or home insurance that covers it. Urgh, so much to think about.
I don’t want my house emergency fund to eat into my emergency emergency fund, you know, the one for job loss, or illness, or wanting to up sticks and restart my life as a professional calligrapher.
The pros of renting
- If your boiler breaks, some other loser has to foot the bill. See also dripping taps, cleaning gutters and replacing those push-in toilet flushers that last about twenty minutes.
- No buildings insurance
- You don’t have to worry about decorating. A lot of landlords will let you repaint if you tell them your plans, but if you can’t be arsed, there’s no obligation.
- If you get a offered your dream job in Barcelona, you don’t have worry about selling your house. Sure, you may need to pay to get out of your contract OR find a friend to take over for you, but it’s not as much hassle as having to find a buyer.
SO, is renting a waste of money?
Next time you read an article about how renters are just throwing money around, don’t feel bad. For a start, renting is not a waste of money – you’re paying for a roof over your head.
That being said, I wouldn’t be happy paying a fortune in rent. I mean, we could easily move to a rented house with a garden but it’d be a massive jump in rent. We’ve lived in the same place for 8 years, and our rent has only gone up once (by £15 a month). My brother moved away then came back to the exact same house and the rent had increased significantly. For the meantime, we’re happy to live here because it means we can save fairly aggressively.
In some ways, renting is less secure than owning your own home – your landlord could decide to sell the house and leave you homeless, BUT chances are you’ll find somewhere else. Homeowning isn’t without risk either, especially if you need to sell up quickly.
You know what I’m trying to say, don’t you? You do you. It’s a phrase that’s hurled around the internet with gay abandon, but it’s worth abiding by. Don’t feel bad because you’ve not got your foot on the property ladder yet. I do want to buy a house at some point, but plenty of people are happy to rent indefinitely. I mean, can you imagine being a freelancer that has the freedom to move anywhere in the world on a whim? It’d be awesome. You could live in a different city every year!