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Renting Or Buying: Which Is Better?

Did you know that less than 40% of U.S. households live in their house for 10 years or more? Historically people tend to stay in their house for six years, although that number has crept up in recent years. 

Would people who live in their house for short periods of time be better off renting? Or, is renting the same thing as throwing your money away?

rent versus buy

Rent Versus Buy Debate

It seems everyone has an opinion about whether one should rent or buy. On the pro buy side, they say that renting is just like throwing money away or that you are paying your landlord's mortgage so why not pay your own mortgage. These folks tend to think that you get nothing for your money. 

On the other side of the debate, the pro renters say that they don't want to be tied down, that they don't have to worry about repairs and maintenance, and that a better use of their money is investing it or saving it.

Obviously, there is no one-sized fits all answer, so let's take a look at the pros and cons. 

Renting Pros

The pros of renting are that there is no large up front out of pocket cost. In addition, aside from the rent payment and renters insurance, there are no ongoing costs, no maintenance, and no hassle. Plus, your payment covers the renting of the space and your portion of the property taxes in one simple payment. 

If your dishwasher breaks, make a phone call and you'll magically have a new dishwasher installed. If the house leaks, make a phone call and it will be fixed. Easy peasy. One morning in an old apartment I lived in I awoke to the ceiling dripping next to my head. It was fixed by the time I got home from work. 

Renting Cons