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Pros of Renting Your Home Instead of Buying

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Renting Versus Buying a House
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This article is the first in a series of several exploring the pros and cons of renting versus buying a house. Some days it feels like you have been renting your home forever. Recently you and you family have begun talking about the possibility of saving money to put a down payment on a house and you've decided it's time to weigh the pros and cons of renting versus buying a home. Make sure to read the following series of articles for a comprehensive discussion of renting and owning.

Renters - Pros / Owners - Cons

Many people decide that renting is a great method for them to live in the home of their dreams. Today, we're going to discuss the advantages of renting instead of buying:

Outdoor Maintenance - As a renter you are typically not required to deal with maintenance issues that come up in your home. This can be a significant savings to you if you are renting or a significant expense if you are an owner. Items such as:

  • Lawn Mowing & Shoveling Snow - Typically the property owner is responsible for removal of snow and ice and maintaining the grounds where you live. This will often include things such as planting new grass, planting gardens and even better snow removal in the winter time. This can save you hundreds of hours a year as well as save you money that can be used towards a home loan down payment.
  • Roof & Chimney - Roof and chimney repairs can come up and require immediate attention and often cost thousands of dollars. Too often these things occur in bad weather meaning they need immediate attention. Costly repairs to roofs and chimneys can affect your budgeting for months. Property owners who wish to maintain their property in top condition to keep value will be forced to spend thousands of dollars in emergency repairs or pay smaller annual payments to maintain a regular inspection for damage and smaller repairs.
  • Gutters & Painting - Regardless of how old your home is your gutters are going to have to be cleaned annually and preferably semi-annually (once in Spring and once just before Winter) to avoid debris build up which can impact the surface of your paint on the outside of your home. Backed up gutters can cause hundreds of dollars of damage to roofs, lawns, steps and more. As a homeowner you're going to want to have these items reviewed to improve the look of your home and keep your gutters free of debris. Renters have the advantage of leaving this chore to the homeowners.

Indoor Maintenance - The inside of our homes represent an entirely different set of issues for both renters and buyers. You are faced with a myriad of investments in your home interior such as:

  • Furnaces & Water Heaters - These nasty and more than necessary little pieces of equipment break down at the most inopportune times! Furnaces inevitably decide to give up the ghost the coldest day of the winter and hot water heaters the day before you're expecting your in-laws for a two week stay. It's inevitable that these items will have to be replaced every ten to fifteen years and it's best scheduled well ahead of time, before you have a problem! Furnaces and hot water heaters today are far more energy efficient than those that were made even as little as five years ago so there's also some cost savings to be had by upgrading before they break down and cause additional grief (and possibly additional expenses). This is most definitely an expense for the property owner and perhaps more of a nuisance for a renter if they break down.
  • Varmints & Bugs - Don't panic. The cleanest of households will have at least one varmint or bug attack at some point. Whether these critters are seeking shelter from the cold, additional food sources or more worrisome - a place to nest and have their babies, you're going to have to deal with them from time to time. For those homeowners who live in areas that are prone to nestling critters it's best to consider a long term extermination plan. The homeowner is responsible for this cost but as a renter this may have a nuisance effect and any expenses would be purely from damage that they cause.
  • Paint & Wallpaper - Well let's face it our houses show their age (and they're supposed to look like they're lived in so forgive us) and nothing gives your home a fresher look than paint and wallpaper. For renters you may want to check your lease or rental agreement because this may fall on your shoulders (though most homeowners to maintain this responsibility). This is purely a cosmetic expense and can be easily kept down to a couple of hundred dollars annually.

There are many other indoor and outdoor expenses that can creep up that affect renters and buyers alike (but mostly buyers). Some maintenance issues may remain the liability of the owner of the property even if they cause inconvenience to the renter. There are certainly other expenses for both renting and owning property that should be taken into consideration when you are considering whether renting or buying is in your future. Before you begin saving for your home down payment make sure you carefully research all of those expenses. This is the first article in a series of several. The next article in the series explores the pros of buying versus renting.

This article is written by guest author Doreen Martel exclusively for Save For House.

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