5 Reasons Why Renting Is Better Than Buying
When it comes to renting versus buying, we’ve always been told about the “the British Dream” of owning bricks and mortar. Traditionally, the life goal for many has been to purchase a home and get on the property ladder as quickly as possible.
But in the last two decades – as our lifestyles and priorities change – there has been a huge increase in the number of households choosing to rent – between 2007-2017, an extra 1.7 million UK households became renters, representing a 63% total increase.
These days, there are plenty of advantages to renting, and not everyone who opts against buying a house does so because of affordability.
Here’s 5 reasons why more people are choosing to rent…
Renting offers greater flexibility than buying
Buying a house and getting a mortgage can tie you down for years: there’s a reason why ‘mortgage’ literally means ‘death pledge’ in Latin.
Mortgages require serious savings and a huge financial commitment: UK first-time buyers take up to 15 years on average to save for a deposit alone. And that’s all before the long, stressful buying process – buyers have to navigate the complicated property market, with the possibility that their chain might fall through or they’ll get outbid at the last minute.
Renting a property means a much smaller deposit (sometimes none at all) and a fixed contract; whether you’re looking for a flat, apartment or house, you’ll have greater flexibility and can choose where you live without feeling tied down.
Renting requires less responsibility than buying
Getting a mortgage means taking on significant debt, which can take decades to pay off – you need to be in it for the long haul if you want to buy your home.
Homeowners are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their properties too, including all the boring-but-incredibly-expensive things that could go wrong, such as roofs, guttering and boilers.
As a renter, you’re totally free from the hassle of maintenance, with your landlord taking on most of the responsibility. You do have to pay for any damages made to the property, but not for upkeep of its structure and fixtures. So if your roof leaks or your boiler breaks down, then no worries – it’s somebody else’s responsibility to fix.
Renting allows for more short-term savings than buying
The cost of buying and moving properties is enormous, and can sometimes reach up to five figures for a move: recent research suggests that UK homeowners were paying £10,414 on average to move in 2019. This is due to the mounting pile of estate agent fees, legal fees, stamp duty and removal costs.
And the costs don’t stop once you’re in your property- on top of upkeep and maintenance, homeowners pay higher taxes and insurance.
As a renter, you won’t have to fork out for any of this. Moving is cheaper, and the cost of renters’ insurance is much lower than homeowners’ insurance.
This leaves more money to spare, so you can enjoy spending your hard-earned cash on holidays, leisure or the latest tech.
Renting offers more choice than buying
Buying comes with a whole host of hurdles and limitations.
Buyers have a set budget, which means narrowing their search to more affordable locations and property-types. Plus, buyers are constrained by strict mortgage criteria, such as borrowing limits dependent on your income, LTVs (loan to value calculations) and ERCs (early repayment clauses).
Renting equals greater freedom to choose where you live and getting the space you want without saving for a deposit. Renting also opens up the possibility of living in areas which you couldn’t afford to buy in, as they’re cheaper to rent than they are to buy.
With fixed contracts, you know exactly how long you’ve got left in a property, and when to start looking if you want to move: this way, you can change city or district without the hassle of finding a replacement tenant.
As long as you can afford the rent and pass the vetting process, you’re good to go – the world is a renter’s oyster.
Renting offers more freedom than buying
Buyers always have to plan in the long-term if they want to make a good investment.
When you buy a property, you should expect to live there for 5 years or more to give time for house prices to rise, so that when you do eventually move, you’ll cover your costs and avoid losing money.
This requires some serious thinking about your future needs, whether that’s growing your family, being close to good schools or whatever your requirements might be.
As a tenant, you only need to consider where you want to live right now. With tenancy contracts as short as six months, you can allow for short-term employment contracts, getting a new job, or wanting to relocate, without needing to think about the future.
You also don’t need to worry about the property market in the same way as buyers. Fluctuating house prices can be affected by the economy, elections, changes to the law and government budgets, all of which are unlikely to directly impact you as a renter.
Renting: it’s all about you.
The upshot? The best part of renting is the freedom it brings, whether that’s to travel, change jobs or move to a different city, worry-free.
Renting is all about living in a way that suits your needs, priorities and ambitions, as and when they happen, giving you the flexibility to change your mind or prepare for the unexpected.
Renting doesn’t buy you a house, but it does buy you freedom and can get you living in a swanky apartment. What’s not to love?