Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before: “Why would you rent? That’s like throwing money into a black hole!”
I’m not here to argue the value in building equity through home ownership – that’s a no-brainer. But let’s be honest: Considering the price of a down payment, a home inspection and closing costs – the up-front costs of purchasing a home can be cost-prohibitive for someone in their 20s.
Oh, and don’t forget student loans. The struggle is real.
Fellow renters, stay positive. It’s time to stop obsessing over those homeowner humblebrags taking over our newsfeeds. (So #clumsy – just spilled Pinot Noir all over my new reclaimed barn wood kitchen floor! Good thing I opted for the weathered finish!)
Here’s the truth: It’s OK that you haven’t bought a house yet. Renting can be awesome, especially when you’re just starting out. Need proof? I give you this list:
- It’s just plain simpler, financially speaking. The costs of buying a home are more complicated than renting, especially if you factor in variables like mortgage rates, the size of your down payment, taxes and how long you plan to live there. Check out this interactive calculator from the New York Times to compare the costs of renting vs. buying based on your situation – the results might surprise you.
- I don’t have to mow my lawn. Ever. Check your lease, of course – but in my case, my landlord handles it. (Technically speaking, his young son does the mowing, but I like knowing that my apathy toward lawn and garden equipment gives him the opportunity to learn some responsibility.)
- Smaller space = smaller utility bills. I doubt I’m suited for full-on tiny house living, but a cozy apartment is perfect.
- Smaller space = less time spent cleaning. It only takes me a Saturday morning to knock out the essentials.
- On-call maintenance service. My fridge bit the dust last year. Guess what? Not my problem. One call to my landlord and I got it replaced, at no out-of-pocket expense. (As in the lawn mowing example above, it’s a good idea to check your lease to see what repairs your landlord does—and does not—cover.)
- Yes, I can still have a dog. It’s true that pet-friendly places are harder to find, but it’s not impossible.
- Yes, I can still hang stuff on the walls. Per my lease, it’s fair game as long as I patch the holes before I move out. Here’s hoping I can find a good YouTube tutorial for that when the time comes.
- I can move in a pinch. If there’s one thing that’s more stressful than buying a house, it’s selling a house. Not for renters! In my case, I just give my 90-day notice, pack up my stuff and hit the road.
- I’m protected with great renters insurance from ERIE. Renters insurance is a must if you’re living on your own, because your landlord’s policy usually doesn’t cover anything that happens to your belongings. Renters insurance from ERIE also covers other things, like temporary living expenses and personal liability – all at a cost starting around $10 per month.*
Full disclosure: I'm a full-time ERIE employee, but I'm a satisfied customer, too. I've had ERIE since I started driving, so when it was time to add a renters policy, I knew right where I wanted to turn. Also: Purchasing both a renters and an auto policy can qualify you for a multipolicy discount. In some cases, the discount actually pays for the renters policy.*
Find an ERIE agent in your area to help you get covered.
*Individual policies may differ. Discounts subject to eligibility criteria and rates and rules in effect at the time of purchase. For additional information visit erieinsurance.com or your local ERIE Agent.