Being a lifelong apartment renter isn’t just great, it’s awesome!
Renting an apartment when you’re a student in an academic town or city like London Ontario is a no brainer. As a student, you figure it’s a temporary, no-strings-attached kind of relationship. When you’re done school, you can just pack up and move on. Then we you get a job, get married and have a family, a switch goes of that homeownership is the only way to go. Not so. We’ve got some pretty compelling reasons to keep that renting lifestyle going until you’re old and grey.
Before visions of home equity start dancing in your head, remember that the minute you buy a home you start paying. In addition to the mortgage, property taxes, utilities, repair bills and higher insurance premiums are an ongoing responsibility. And watch out for those condo fees ! Some condos have monthly maintenance fees and some can make your knees buckle.
Renting, on the other hand, is free of all the added expense and responsibility. Yes rent goes up too but there are many laws in place in most jurisdictions that protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords. And as we have recently learned, rising home equity isn’t always a given.
When you get up Saturday morning on a beautiful summer day as a homeowner, chances are you’ve got grass to cut, weeds to pull, eves trough to fix or a dozen other things that turn weekends into one never ending do-it-yourself project. As an apartment renter, summer weekends are free of all that work. You can just concentrate on enjoying the sunshine.
If you work in a major city, commuting to and from work each day to a home in the ‘burbs robs you of as much as three or more hours a day! That’s time in a car or on a commuter train you’ll never get back. Renting an apartment downtown gives you that time to chill and relax instead. If the transit system is good, you may not even need a car, which can be an additional fortune saved. And think of how much smaller your carbon footprint will be without all that drive time.
Raising a family is often a major reason cited for buying a home. While there is nothing wrong with that idea, there is also nothing wrong with raising a family while you rent. All things being equal, there might be more money available for family activities in the absence of all the added expense of owning a home. And when you’re not spending time maintaining your property, there could also be a whole lot more family time too.
And just because you would rather commit to only a one-year lease as opposed to a 35-year mortgage doesn’t mean you have commitment issues. It just means you would rather keep your options open, which can be a good thing.
In so many ways, the freedom, flexibility and simplicity of renting stack up rather nicely against the sacrifice, commitment and responsibilities of home ownership. And with the options that are available in terms of square footage, layout and quality of finishes in today’s apartments, you don’t have to sacrifice a thing when it comes to living a quality, comfortable and convenient lifestyle.
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