Whether you are right out of college or you are into your ‘lived in’ years, most likely you will rent a home at some point of your life.  Renting as opposed to owning a home can have its pros and cons.  For some, renting is the perfect option, and for some, owning a piece of real estate is right for them at this time of their lives.  Depending on your situation, financial knowledge, and comfort level let’s look at the ups and downs of renting a home.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: PROS: The largest financial responsibility when renting a home is coming up with a deposit, security, and possibly first and last month’s rent when moving in.  For the majority of renter’s this is the number one reason for renting. The responsibility of paying rent every month is a plus for many. CONS: When renting a home, since there is no financial commitment, there also isn’t the benefit of appreciating value in a home. This simply means – you will never get your money back to you when renting.  While in an appreciating home market, the sale of your home can lead to great financial gain in the future.

LANDLORDS: PROS: When you stay at a hotel and the television doesn’t work – don’t you call down to the front desk for them to ‘fix’ the situation? This is one of the pros of renting a home, the responsibility of maintaining the appliances, repairs, and physical appearance of the home is on the landlord. For many people, this makes renting a home much more appealing than owning a home. The idea that a broken toilet is not your concern, can be a wonderful relief from renter’s minds! CONS: The world is full of bad landlords. The downside to renting is that now your health, safety and welfare may rest in the attentiveness of your landlord.  If you have a repairs in your home that never get fixed, or get fixed too late, landlords may not respond to your concerns. Remember, in many jurisdictions they are ‘Renter’s Rights’, if you feel your landlord is taking advantage look into these laws.

PERSONALIZE: PROS: Those who rent a home have to check with their leasing company/landlord as to what can be done to personalize the home. Many landlords will let you paint, hang pictures, and will even keep up the landscaping on a rental home.  If you are fortunate to get these options in a landlord, don’t take it for granted, and take good care of the rental property.  CONS: Many leasing companies and landlords don’t want any cosmetic alterations done to the home. This can mean, no hanging pictures on the walls due to possible holes, to keeping the existing wall paint color as-is.  Often times in rental homes, the turnover rate of new tenants is high, therefore the landlord doesn’t want to have to put a lot of energy and money into making your space rentable to the next tenant.  Talk over décor flexibility with your landlord, he/she may be more flexible than you think.

Renting a home is an important stage for growing social relationships and taking care of life responsibilities. The decision is up to you and should be considered with careful thought.  Weigh your options for you and your family, because renting a home should be a pleasant and fun experience.

Freshome Reader’s, do you rent a home? Share with us what you enjoy about the experience and what you hate! Do you plan on renting for awhile? If you are in the decision making stage – what are your concerns?