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Why I Rent My Home, Not Own

Updated on August 27, 2011
The great American dream - or nightmare?
The great American dream - or nightmare?
Traditionally, a white picket fence means "home". But that fence doesn't paint itself...
Traditionally, a white picket fence means "home". But that fence doesn't paint itself...

I rent because I like things simple. I rent because I don't buy into the "Great American Dream" of home ownership. Years ago I figured out being the on-site caretaker for a bank or mortgage company's property was not "the investment opportunity of a lifetime".

Call me un-American, but I don't feel the least bit guilty about this when I pay the rent each month.

Nosireee. Not one bit.

By not being in hock to a bank or mortgage company for tens of thousands of dollars for 30 years, I'm passing up the "opportunity" to go into debt for several thousands more for a new furnace, or a new roof - or several new roofs depending on how long I live there - or having the house re-wired or re-plumbed.

From personal experience and those of home-owner friends, more likely all of the above.

By renting, I also pass up the "opportunity" to be sued by the early morning jogger who slips on a patch of "my" ice, or the parents of the kid who falls out of my tree that he never had permission to be climbing in the first place. Which means I also miss the "opportunity" to further enrich the law firm representing the injured party (or parties), as well as the company carrying my home owner's insurance (the premium for which will go up).

And then there are property taxes, the backbone of many state and local budgets. In our state (and at least one other), PT bills arrive around the middle of December, and the first half must be paid a couple of weeks after that. Merry Christmas!

Are you getting the idea yet that "owning" a home is not all it's cracked up to be?

To me, renting is freedom - freedom from having to rearrange the budget to replace a furnace that breathes its last over a holiday weekend, or using the money set aside for a much-needed vacation for a new roof instead. Plus freedom from being sued and property taxes.

But "home" does not necessarily have to be a house. It can be an apartment (or in the UK, a "flat").

My home is a charming all-electric one-bedroom pied a terre "in the treetops" (on the third floor) overlooking a small creek that runs through the property. Water and trash pick-up are included in the rent. Were I renting a house, they wouldn't be.

Of course things have worn out or had to be repaired in the nearly nine years I've been here:

  • the AC that quit one hot July day and had to be replaced;
  • the kitchen stove was replaced with a brand new one;
  • same for the light fixture and faucet in the kitchen;
  • the bathroom was re-painted;
  • and my building was re-roofed twice.

Cost to me: zero.

And no, the above expenses were not passed on to me in the form of a rent increase. My rent is the same now as it was the day I moved in.

So much for the argument that I really should buy a house so that my monthly payment will remain the same for the life of the (fixed-rate) mortgage. Even if the rent does go up, which I know will happen eventually, over several years the additional amount will not even come close to the out-of-pocket and unexpected expenses of home ownership.

Do I ever buy into the myth that by renting, I'm throwing away my hard-earned money?

Are you kidding? For about the same amount the average home owner pays in property taxes each year, I get the cute and comfy place I call home plus a year-round grounds crew. They mow, they rake, they shovel. If it snows overnight, a snowplow clears the drives while the neighbors and I are still snuggled in our beds.

Do I miss not having my own yard?


There's a 160-acre park across the street. That's more than enough "yard" for anybody. And I don't have to mow it either! When I feel like communing with Nature, there's a bench I call "mine" under a tree next to one of several small ponds. In warm weather, I like to take a brown bag lunch over there, or sometimes on the way home from work, I'll stop and sit a spell. Down the street is a large cemetery laid out like a park, with a gazebo next to yet another pond inhabited by a flock of geese and several varieties of ducks (some of whom like to "hide out" in the creek in front of my building).

Granted, not every apartment complex is surrounded by so much green space, but most do have maintenance and ground crews. Mine was built originally to serve downsizing empty-nesters and divorcees from nearby upscale homes who no longer needed a house but wanted to remain in the neighborhood. Meaning it's not a collection of cookie-cutter cracker boxes like some apartment complexes. Finding one that isn't a glorified motel (or worse, party central - unless partyng is your thing) may require a bit more looking around, but they're out there. When you find one that suits you and suits your budget, you'll wonder why any sane person would waste a nice evening mowing the lawn, or an otherwise perfect weekend cleaning gutters or replacing a toilet.

What do I do after work and on weekends?

Absolutely anything I want - or nothing at all!


Submit a Comment

  • Direxmd profile image

    Direxmd 8 years ago

    Great hub! I learned in my finite mathematics class that if you have a house purchased at say, $350k, and you get into a fixed rate, 30 year loan for around 5.5%, you will end up owing (sp?) just a tad over $800k at the end of the loan.

    Talk about compounding interest!

    Thanks for the great read :)

  • Cris A profile image

    Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    You make a very good case and I think you have me dissuaded - of course, like most everybody else i dream of having my own patch of land. So what do I do with my savings now? Are you up for a party?

    Thanks for sharing an enjoyable read :D

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Direxmd, how could I forget the interest tacked on to a 30-year mortgage!  Mon dieu!  That alone should be enough to scare buyers away!

    Cris, I'll share "my" patch of land - the one the park bench sits on - with you any time!  (Technically it IS mine - I may not pay property taxes, but do pay the city sales tax that funds the park every time I buy anything..)  My weekend is free - how 'bout yours??  ;D 

  • Elena. profile image

    Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

    Hi Jama! Good case, you could be a lawyer :-) Seriously, I think you make good points in favor of renting, many of them are the reasons I rented for long. Also, for me renting always was about experimenting whit the type of place I'd some day like to own :-) I rented a variety of apartments back when! As for owning, I'm not really going to avocate on its favor, to each their own, suffice it to say that there are also some good reasons for investing that way :-)

  • Cris A profile image

    Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    LOL i know it's yours - my! i have never seen anybody more aware of her tenancy rights that you! which is a good thing :D

    As for the party, i might contact THE surgeon for he def knows how to throw one, Weekend is good :D

  • robie2 profile image

    Roberta Kyle 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

    Owning is a double edged sword, I'll grant you that Jama-- but if you time it right, and property values go up, you can make a tidy profit--oops I suppose I should say could have made because those days seem to be gone forever LOL.

    I've both owned and rented and must say that it's great not to have to worry about leaking roofs. Your landlord sounds better than mine ever was about fixing things pronto. I was without hot water for a week once when the hot water heater went poof. On the other hand as a homeowner I've waited days for a repairman to even return a phone call so I guess it's a draw--great hub. fabulous writing too:-)

  • Christoph Reilly profile image

    Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

    Although I enjoy owning a house (I bought a small little cottage affair, very cute and irish, and not over budget), you are certainly right about the maintenance crap. It's one thing after another...something major every year it seems. Many times I've wanted to chuck it all.

    Thanks for a geat read. (Your apt. sounds great. Need a roomie?)

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Elena, if you're still in the place with the fabulous views in the photos, I sure hope you *own* it!  But you're right - to each his own.  I wrote this because it's tiresome  being treated like a second-class citizen because I'm a renter.

    Cris, someday there *will* be a bench in that spot with my name on it.  Our cash-strapped park dept sells "in memory of" benches to families of cremated loved ones.  Much more useful than an urn.  As for THE surgeon who throws great parties, you lost me (she says, covering her eyes in embarrassment). ;)

    Robie, if a person can buy a house outright and thereby bypass years of compounded interest, then sell it for more than they paid for it, yes they could  come away with a tidy profit.  But most people don't pay cash for a house and write off the interest as a tax deduction every year, but don't consider all the other expenses of home ownership.  So if they do sell at a "profit", they may just be breaking even for out-of-pocket expenses like repairs and such over the years. 

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Christoph, your cottage sounds cute as a bug. Do YOU need a roomie? lol!

  • Elena. profile image

    Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

    Jama, who treats you like a second-class citizen, give me names, I'll make it look like an accident! Laugh! Yes, I'm in that place with the beautiful views, and I OWN it, YAY!

  • Pam Roberson profile image

    Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

    I'm with Elena, and it's posse time to take care of business (the accident) on that booger who makes you feel like a second-class citizen!

    Very good argument for renting. I've done both, and I suppose, for me, it mostly depends on if you're lucky enough to have a good landlord. Like you, I think I was very lucky in the past regarding landlords. :) Glad to hear you have a good one!

    Nice as always Jama! :D

  • marcofratelli profile image

    marcofratelli 8 years ago from Australia

    Hey Jama, that's a great take on the benefits of renting (or "not buying")! I think you've been very lucky to be paying exactly the same rent as the day you moved in. With all of that maintenance work, I would have pushed up rent over the years just to keep up with inflation (at least).

  • EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

    Kelly W. Patterson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV.

    Maintenance can be a pain, but you actually pay alot less for a mortgage than you would for rent on the same space, which is why people own rental properties. For instance, in the complex where I own my condo the rent averages over $800 for people who rent out to tenenants, while I pay about $540, plus around $120 for association fees (which pays for landscaping, water/electric on the exterior of the houses, and new paint and roofs every four years). I think over time it averages out to at the very least a stalemate. The one big advantage of renting is that, if you should have some sort of financial issue, you can simply walk away without all the financial ramifications of a mortgage. And that's no small benefit.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Elena, thanks for the offer, but I'd rather let the boogers live to waste their weekends re-seeding the lawn and such while I'm doing *anything* I want! ;) It's when I say I rent that gets the "second-class" attitude. They *assume* I can't qualify for a mortgage. In their world, no sane person would *choose* not to have one and the hassles that go with it.

    Thanks, Pam! Yes I'm lucky to have a property management company. They really take care of their residents, which is not always the case. (That could be another hub - landlords from hell!)

    marcofratelli, nice to see you here! I think my rent has stayed the same because this unit is in a rather out-of-the-way place and would be hard to re-rent if I ever moved out. Having it occupied year-round at the original rent is more cost-effective for the management company than zero rent if it sits empty for several months between tenants. Plus, I'm quiet and don't bother anybody. Not that they never raise rents. Units on the first and second floors have gone up several times since I moved in, which they can do because this is one of the few complexes in town that *welcomes* pets. (Only place I've ever seen with doodoo bag dispensers strategically placed so no pet owner has an excuse for not picking up after!)

  • Tom Cornett profile image

    Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

    A wise and well put hub. The only way owning a home doesn't suck is if it is paid off. Even then, it can get very expensive.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    EYE, thanks for adding to this discussion.  People who own rental units *do* make money on them or they wouldn't do it.  But an individual buying his/her home still has to figure in maintenance and repairs to the overall cost of owning, because it's not Monopoly money that pays for them. 

    Hi Tom!  Glad you liked it.  For the record, if I won the Lottery, I *might* buy a house outright, knowing maintenance/repairs/taxes etc would work out to about the same as a house payment.  Because, as you said, even if your house is paid off, it can get very expensive.

  • Aya Katz profile image

    Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

    Jamagenee, I agree that owning a home in the city or suburbs is not an investment -- its' an added expense. Owning a farm that not only gives you a place to live, but also supports you, is a completely different story. That is what the American dream was about once. Not just home ownership, but self-employment and independence.

  • mikey63 profile image

    mikey63 8 years ago

    Some people think a home is an asset but by the strictest definition it's a liability unless it creates income.

    Having said that, even with the credit crunch the average Joe who bought their house more than 10 years ago will have created the best opportunity they will have in their lives to create a degree of wealth.

  • profile image

    multimastery 8 years ago

    This is one of the best hubs that I've read in a while Jama, and you make a lot of sense. I too am a rentor for many of the same reasons that you are. Owning a home can be a headache! It's not for me, at least I'm not feelin it in the least bit currently. However, it may be for some people, especially for those that are married with kids. An apartment just might not do it for people in that situation.

  • profile image

    C. C. Riter 8 years ago

    I admire you for your choice which is right for you. Me? I can dig an Emu for a Luau, put in my garden, have dogs, parrots, cats grow fruit trees, and many other things that I could not do as a renter. I have lots of trees for wildlife, serenity and privacy with a very nice flagstone patio with pond and water fall and it may belong to the bank for now, and yes the taxes are heavy, but that's what we have chosen for our home. Good hub dear.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

    Good case you have made here, but I'm still leaning toward owning my own little acre in the woods so that I can do whatever I want with it. I'm looking forward to knowing it is mine.

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Sounds like you made the right choice for yourself. We did the 30 year thing, with a low fixed rate. Had a nice  house with a big yard for pets and garden. Neighborhood schools were good.  It was a good place at the right time.

    Good hub to outline the advantages for many people.

    When we sold, we had enogh to buy three acres  in the woods, and build a house to our own plan. We had money left over. We felt the investment was worth it. We do have property taxes and some maintenance, but no mortgage.  In the past 12 years values of property and homes  in our area has gone up, more than double what we paid even with the recent downturn.

    For us it feels like some security for retirement. When we retire from life, the kids can sell it or live in it.

  • SweetiePie profile image

    SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

    I never plan on buying a home unless I come into millions of dollars. Right now I am still at a point in my life where I may move again, even though the two years I have been at this apartment is the longest I have been in one place. I enjoy renting because it gives me the flexibility and simplicity of life. Also, I really am not big on home repairs and like having maintenance people come to do basic repairs, even though some of them are really slow about getting around to it. It still beats having to do it myself.

  • DAVID BOURG profile image

    DAVID BOURG 8 years ago from San Leon TEXAS

    Yes,I agree with you on this subject.Now let me tell you why.My wife and I bought a nice 2 bedroom home in San Leon Texas.We have been here going on five years.Last year our home was totally destroyed by Hurricane Ike. After that of being victims of a natural disaster,you would think that we would get help.If you think a Fema trailer is the fix. We got cheated by the ins , co. Then we had to get public adjusters to help get the rest of the ins, money.Well, the Mortgage company put's us through the big run around.We are just trying to pay off this pile of dirt.They(Mortgage company)try to add on more costs even after the fact that we have lost the entire home. To me,this does not seem fair.Yeah, the American dream my eye.My message to those that want to buy a home,Pay Cash and buy it out right.If the American Dream is to raise a persons blood pressure then it works great.To me,working all your life for a mortgage company is insane and we wont do it again!

  • Frieda Babbley profile image

    Frieda Babbley 8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

    Very nice hub JamaGenee. Excellent points. I never wanted to own a home, until I did. And even then I had my reservations, for many of the reasons you outline here, and more. But then one day, the perfect house came along, and just in time. Now four kids and four pets later, not to mention my growing love for making changes of the kind you can't do when you rent, I know that owning was best for us. There is much to say about renting though. Would I go back and do it all over differently, and stuck to my guns about renters' freedom? Maybe. Who knows. My life would have certainly taken a different turn.

    Thanks for the great hub.

  • Jennifer Bhala profile image

    Jennifer Bhala 8 years ago from Upstate New York

    Great hub JamaGenee. My husband and I with 4 kids rented up until Feb 2007. We lived in Australia, India, West Coast and East Coast of US. We actually moved 19 times during our first 20 years of marriage. Sometimes we wanted to move and sometimes the house we were renting was sold so we were forced to move. Sometimes they put the rent up and we didn't feel it was worth it so we got a better deal somewhere else. The freedom of being able to travel and move around was great, however, the uncertainty of how long we could be somewhere always made us feel a bit unsettled. Our Landlords were not always accomodating when it came to fixing broken things, usually my husband had to do it anyway so it would get done. we could never make the home feel like ours and I really do not like living on carpets that others have lived on.

    There are good and bad points about both renting and owning. After we bought the home we had been renting for 8 years, which had been sold twice and had the rent raised each time, we decided we would rather buy the home than have to move again. So we did. Soon after we bought it a friend told us about a program they were using to pay off their mortgage in 1/2 to 1/3 the time with little to no change in their budget or lifestyle. I like math and I like puzzles so this intrigued me. We went and checked out the program at their home over dinner and some very smart guys figured out how to use the current banking systems and interest calculations to bank like a  bank instead of a consumer. Therefore, we are now paying off our thirty year mortgage in 15 years and savings a hell of a lot of interest at the same time. So, no one can take their wealth with them when they die so it  you don't need much and you are happy where you are, there is nothing wrong with renting But, now that I have found this Money Merge Account program, I think buying gives one more of a sense of feeling home and freedom to do what you want without the burdon of paying the bank for 30 years and without paying too much more in interest charges compared to the traditional way of paying a mortgage off.

    Not owning a home for the time when the kids were growing also had the advantage of being more eligible for financial aid for their education, so they all went to private schools or colleges over the years. They all went to like 9 different schools because of all our moves.

  • Proud Mom profile image

    Proud Mom 8 years ago from USA

    I wish I had someone to mow my 1 acre.....and you have 160--mow-free!!!???!! I'm missing out!

    I can't afford the picket fence because of the compounded interest.

    My next-door neighbor drains his pool in my yard and trains his dog to poop there, as well.

    Any vacancies in your building?

  • retirementhelp profile image

    retirementhelp 8 years ago

    JamaGenee, Great Hub. Certainly and alternative view but most certainly valid. A common mistake people make is to assume a home is always a good investment. Our current economy is an example of the contrary. Getting into a house and having no additional income for repairs, maintenance, etc is a big mistake. Another fallacy is the assumption that values will always go up and getting in on 100% financing is a good idea. When the values go down you are stuck. Home ownership is not for everyone and you make a great case for renting. Fantastic info, thanks for sharing.

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    I have to agree with you here. I own a condo in NYC - and guess what? When the dead beat other owners do not pay their maintenance - guess who has to take up the slack - or we all go without heat and other services? Or when I want to sell and leave - guess what? I can't. Because we have lost our certificate of occupancy because one owner decided to make major renovations which violate the city's dept. of building codes. No bank will lend to a buyer if the building does not have this C of O - so you cannot sell unless they have all cash.

    Of course I bought in the right place and certainly at the right time because my home value has quintupled in the 13 years I've been here. Economically, I will come out ahead financially - maybe. But then I have had to pay a fortune in maintenance and an extra assessment - then a 2nd emergency assessment.

    I don't recommend converted condos because there are so many legalities involved - and too many extra fees you have no control over. And sad but true, Americans are the most litigious - and we certainly can't live together as strangers and treat others fairly.

    There is a lot we have to change about home ownership in the USA. The inflated prices for these poorly constructed, thrown up houses on the market is a bad joke. It was inevitable that the housing market would crash. That proves that something is seriously wrong with homeownership - largely the fact that we have deregulated banks - and then expect to be treated fairly.

    Thanks for giving us much food for thought. Sometimes I feel like we have become sheep - just going along with the program because...and we don't even do the math. Sigh!

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    The buyer needs to be wary... but I still think it can be a good investment, depending on the times and circumstances.

  • profile image

    Diane 8 years ago

    Its only a good thing to rent, if you can afford to rent a decent place or at least are smart enough to recognize what is decent. i was not that lucky growing up in a horrendous tenement with a slumlord. my parents thought they were getting a good deal but years later finding out that people payed less in mortgage than what they payed for this tenement with no ammenitys, rats, asbestos you name it it was there. I did learn from this, i made sure i owned a home before my children were born so they would have nice things and not have to remember bad things like me. plus if you buy a home that is manageable and not really big, it is not hard to take care of at all.

  • profile image

    MotherHubber 8 years ago

    Good hub, but I won't let my husband see it, or there will be a "For Sale" sign in our front yard within the week. :-)

  • mulder profile image

    mulder 8 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

    I wouldn't rent again for quids Im lucky I guees I own my house but I have rented in the past been there done that never again .The constant rental inspections having to ask owner premission to do anything to the house or the garden plus The owner might want to sell the house you are renting and you have let buyers come though the house at inconvenient times also you have to pay a grand plus to move into another house and there's the hassle of trying to find a place to rent which in Australia is getting rather hard and expensive at the moment .Just my thoughts great hub

  • britneydavidson profile image

    britneydavidson 8 years ago from united kingdom

    wow great hub....and great explanation....i am agree with you about this rent things....

  • jGaunt profile image

    jGaunt 8 years ago from London

    I don't think owning is quite as bad as you make it out to be. Having said that, it helps if you are able to finance most of the property yourself. A big loan can be very problematic.

    The US housing market is a basket case at the moment, but generally your home is a very safe investment, as aposed to bonds and stocks.

  • matiskater profile image

    matiskater 8 years ago

    well now in the us is best to rent because owners are getting their house away!! cause they cant pay it

  • mdvaldosta profile image

    Joe 8 years ago from Valdosta, GA

    You made some very valid points... but what about the equity you would have earned after all these years? Well... aside from the last couple :)

  • kabney profile image

    Kelley Martin 8 years ago from Tulsa

    I agree that renting is better. I sold my house last year and it's such a relief after dealing with falling branches and a moldy basement. I'm a single woman and was not always equipped to fix things that went wrong. I do miss the yard though, so does my dog.

  • profile image

    Erick Smart 8 years ago

    There are many that take this thought one step further and caretake homes instead. Many wealthy second home owners will allow someone credible to reside in their home to take care of it while they are away.The only real drawback is having to move out everytime they want to use their home.

  • profile image

    Kate Phillips 8 years ago

    Renting almost always makes more sense in the short-term, and I agree is certainly easier! It's the long-term view that made me buy my first house in 1994. Rents had doubled in Seattle the previous 10 years, and I knew that if THAT happened again, I would have to leave Seattle! We bought a simple little home. In the next 10 years, rents DID double again, and I sold my house for a profit of almost $100k. Best move I ever made.

    Yes, I know that the "Truth in Lending" statement that shows you how much interest you'll pay looks scary, but to me, the most frightening thought was paying rent for 30 years and having nothing at the end of it.

    You sound like very nice girl, buying your Landlord a home! At the end of 30 years, your Landlord can sell a free-and-clear home worth 4 to 8 times what they bought it for (which can buy a heck of a lot of "freedom"), and when you get your notice to vacate for the new owners, you'll get your deposit back (with no interest, less cleaning costs).

    Life is full of trade-offs. Sounds like you've got a sweet deal now, so do yourself a favor and save up some of the cash you're saving by renting for the day it turns sour.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Kate, you were lucky you were able to sell the house for a nice profit when you did. That might not be the case today. Even a year ago it was going sour. Be glad you're not stuck with that house and paying mortgages on it and another, as some are right now. And maybe you didn't catch that I'm not in a house, but an apartment, so I'm not buying any landlord a home. Oh, and when I move, no cleaning costs will be deducted from the deposit. Thanks for stopping by.

  • LA's Best Trainer profile image

    LA's Best Trainer 8 years ago from Los Angeles ,CA

    Hey i really thought this was interesting and i loved reading it!  I feel exactly what you are saying but things aren't always that cut and dry.  I hope you will let me add a little to your story because i can see from both sides. I am happy to say I am a proud property owner  because it was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with. I felt like i grew a lot during the experience but can't always be sure i would do it again. my wife and I have had to go through the ups and downs that come along with it and they seem to be a life long thing your signing up for.  We bought our place 2 1/2 years ago and spent a crap load of money making it Home. We got a multifamily building and have three tenants,  all of which are great tenants but have annoyed the hell out of me at some time or the other. There are so many times when i think damn, i wish i just rented a place.  Other times i realize that buying this property and having other people pay my mortgage has afforded me to not have to worry about paying my mortgage while living in a 2,100 sq ft 4 bedroom apartment with my family for pennies. You have to always see what side means more to you. I don't think buying a one family house is a good idea unless you can afford to easily pay it, but that's because I'm partial to my choice.  But Remember there are people that have a couple kids that want a back yard and two cars and a garage and be able to wash their car in their driveway. Those are things you usually don't get when renting. 

    Basically this home ownership thing needs to be thought of as a business. as a person i am the type to want to be the boss at work and own my own company.  It's the same thing!  There have to be people that own the company and there have to be people that work for the company.  look at it that way. Even businesses owe a bank money. owning a house is the same as owning and running your own business. trust me the boss stresses more than the employees.  and I'm not talking about the owner of AOL or Steve Jobs who have tons of Grey hairs as well, but the owner of a small fast food chain or  Online store that make a good living but also have the stresses of running it. First you have to make a wise choice choosing your business, meaning buy a property that's worth buying.  As a landlord your tenants are your employees and you have to take care of them for them to take car of you.  It just depends on the type of person you are.  And please don't think that when i say employee mean someone that just works hard and doesn't get paid well, I also mean employees that make hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year. It's all about the type of person you are and the amount of work your willing to go though to get whatever it is that YOU WANT.  Fortunately for everyone there is no wrong or right side. But remember, the real question is do you wanna be the boss or and employee.  Both are viable options.

    Also remember,

    it doesn't matter what your house is worth if you like it and people are paying you to live there!

  • Sarah Love profile image

    Sarah Love 8 years ago from Bay Area

    I read your hub today - while waiting for a decision on an offer I made on a house! I hear you on the reasons not to buy, I have really enjoyed renting. I just can't NOT take advantage of the opportunity to buy a house when prices are at an all time low.......

  • eyewearspy profile image

    eyewearspy 8 years ago

    just as I thought owning is much more expensive than renting a home. Once youl have your own house you can't get away from those property taxes and all other factors that requires you to maintain your own house while when you rent a house the landlord usually are responsible for the house maintenance.

    We have our own home and own a Dormitel and still we are responsible in cleaning or maintaining our Dormitel when minor problems occur such as plumbing or electrical wiring.

  • danjutsu profile image

    danjutsu 8 years ago from UK

    Great hub. This way of thinking is gaining in popularity as people see families going to the wall.

  • MindField profile image

    MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

    Did the universe send this hub to me?

    I've been under a lot of stress recently, trying to decide what to do in a time fraught with difficulties. I've lived in my home for 25 years. When I went through a divorce 12 years ago, I thought all I wanted was the house and I saw renting as backsliding. Eventually I paid off the mortgage but at the expense of not doing much maintenance.

    A little over two years ago, I took out another mortgage, which allowed me to have a few things done, like putting in energy efficient windows. But now that I'm really feeling the need to leave for other parts, I'm being told that without granite counters, hardwood floors, and the complete remodeling of kitchen and bathrooms (for which I have no money), I'll be lucky to walk away with $20K.

    Twenty-thousand dollars in 25 years - and I never saw it coming. But you've made me see that renting can be a godsend. When I do have to go (one way or another), I'll do it with much less depression than I'd been feeling before reading what you've so eloquently written here. Bless you for that, JamaGenee!!

  • fatuisred profile image

    Fatu yarrow 8 years ago from Location is somewhere over the rainbow in Newark,N.J.

    I love what you had to say about renting.I think renting has it's good points and it bad points, in all your right on key with it all.

  • Teresa McGurk profile image

    Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

    I love this hub -- you are soooo right. Of course, there are cases where folks would be daft NOT to buy, if they can buy outright, that is -- and have no mortgage, no rent: just taxes and maintenance. I'm being crippled by mortgage payments on a house I can't afford to live in (I rented it out, and am now living in a camper in the yard).

    Yep. If this market ever recovers, I'm going to sell up.

  • Johnramira profile image

    Johnramira 8 years ago from Asia

    Yeah that also your own opinion.

  • AEvans profile image

    Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

    We were homeowners however that is a story in itself and we were definitely robbed of it, so we are now renters and it is definitely a breath of fresh air. Being a homeowner has its wonderful points as you can paint and re-decorate to your liking and you have some great tax breaks, however being a renter allows you to not worry just like you said, about the person who may slip and fall or having to replace an AC as we did on our home when we were homeowners, do I miss our home sometimes but I certainly do not miss the $3000.00 a month mortgage due to an arm re-setting continually so now we enjoy $1000.00 a month one level instead of two and 500 square feet more then we had. Talk about a bargain. Great article and it makes me feel honestly happy that we are now renters. :)

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Wow, $1000 a month sounds terrible to me-- we paid about $250 a month on our original mortgage-- of course , in the beginning that was about half a month's income. It wan't easy. It got much better as income went up, and the payment was fixed, not adjustable.

    Also we borrowed $500 dollars from each of our parents to add to our savings of $2500, to make the down payment. It took awhile to pay our parents back, but we did.

    I'm really glad we don't have payments now.

  • AEvans profile image

    Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

    Hi Rochelle, Our actual mortgage on our home was $3000.00 with an arm that kept re-setting we tried the loan modification with JP and they took our $6000.00 to modify it, what is quite interesting is that we were not behind on the payments I called daily asking about the modification and they said it was fine, we left on a mini vacation and when we came back our locks had been changed so we stayed in a motel and we were frazzled!! On A tuesday we had found they auctioned our house, we never received notice etc. When speaking with JP Morgan they noted bank error and stated they could do nothing as someone bought our home and paid cash at the auction. They sold it for 101349 we paid 259,900 we hired an attorney and we broke into our home to remove our belongings and all of our appliances and everything that was not attached. Till this day we still have not received a letter saying our home was sold and our home is still in our name. To us there is something shady that happened and I am certain that there are others out there, it may take us 5 years but we will win this case, so now we pay $1000.00 for rent. You were lucky to live in a time where life seemed easier and purchasing seemed more simple. So there is my story.:)

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

    Yes it was much simpler. We knew what we were going to pay. These adjustable things are really fishy. Also we KNEW there was no possible way we would run up any other debt. We only bought a car when we could pay cash.

    Good luck in your legal wrangle-- I don't envy you for that.

  • composed profile image

    composed 8 years ago from the place where I have what it takes

    This is a great hub! I agree 100%. I have always rented... most recently for 7 years in San Francisco, for 2 in Orange County, and now for a year so far in Los Angeles. In expensive places like these, it is sometime a better deal to rent. Even now with prices dropping... the crash has made it so you actually need a down payment!! And coming up with 30-50K, especially in a housing market that might never see better days... or anything close to what we have, is not easy!

    And for all of your reasons... I did not have to write a check for $700 recently when our water heater went out!

    Plus I can live in a big city, with all of the cultural amenities and such, and not have to move to some sleepy boring place with no character just so I can own a house! How lame.

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    These days, I find myself wishing that we rented instead of owned. With a mortgage established in 2006, we have literally seen our investment of more than 20% down disappear, and then some. Hopefully we can regain when (if?) things turn around. It could be a long 5-10 years though....

  • Gerg profile image

    Gerg 8 years ago from California

    In a different economy, I may have not have agreed wholeheartedly, but after the circumstances of the last two years, my thinking mirrors yours completely! Thanks for the perspective enhancer.

  • helenathegreat profile image

    helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan

    Great hub! I do plan to own my house when I get older, but not because I think of it as an investment; you spend way more money on a house than you get. Your points are all GREAT.

    Personal finance guru Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, says that if your house is your "biggest investment" then you have a big problem. That's definitely a widespread attitude in the ownership-obsessed United States, and it's one that has recently proved his point very eloquently.

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    Sami Brooks 8 years ago

    Thank you for saying what I feel also about "Life On Earth"... I too am a happy renter and will be until I accumalate my first $7. cazillion... Many smiles to ya.

    Sami Brooks

  • Lgali profile image

    Lgali 8 years ago

    very informative hub

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    issues veritas 8 years ago


    The is no doubt that renters did better than home owners in the last few years.

    Most of their home loans were worse than rent.

    BTW, you can get white picket fences from Home Depot that never require painting.

  • artfuldodger profile image

    artfuldodger 8 years ago from Earth

    some very good points. renting is indeed a great deal depending on what you want. especially right now. House prices have more value to lose, so anyone interested in buying a modest home in a few years should get a great deal... if they want to put up with the hassles that homeownership entails.

  • lafenty profile image

    lafenty 8 years ago from California

    I have owned three houses in my life, and each time it ended badly. I am a renter now, and very happy not to have the responsibilities that come with homeownership. Thanks for the great hub.

  • tnykzn profile image

    tnykzn 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

    Your thoughts on home "ownership" are exaclty mine! Good for you! It's like the late, great George Carlin said, "it's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it!"

  • Jellyrug profile image

    Jellyrug 8 years ago from AR USA

    Perhaps I have just been lucky, I have always owned one or more homes and really reap the rewards.

    Recent experience was purchasing two houses in California, just before the boom started. I lived in one and rented out the other, the rental purchased brand new. I sold both houses four years later for around twice what I paid for them, just before the property crash. For four years the rental was paid for by my renters and the repairs I made before sale, were a fraction of rental income after interest.

    Again lucky, I purchased a new home far away from California, where the property crash is not very significant, so I have not lost much of my gains in the new property.

    Bad timing, it could have gone the other way for me and cost me more than a lifetime of rent.

    Being the king of your own castle has psychological value though, I can create, build, break down and thrive as I wish in my own kingdom.

    Eventually free market principles will always maintain both owners and renters; if everyone rented, owning would be big company business.

  • Abhishek87 profile image

    Abhishek87 8 years ago from India

    Hey Jama, 

    Nice article but don't you think that your personal example is more of an Ideal scenario rather than the generalisation. I mean how often do you find units where rent's not increased in 8 Years or the landlord fixes every leak or damage before you can name them ???

    Its like you said to Kate, you are lucky you have it. But this example leads people to believe that Renting is Great , I am not saying it isn't but lets not make generalisations based on one situation. 

    The thing is, renting is good if you are not financially strong enough to keep up with the requirements But in the long run real estate prices DO go up (if you are sane about the timing of buying ; anyone who bought at the peak of prices is bound to cry foul now). 

  • profile image

    Air Filter 8 years ago

    You have a HUGE point. Thanks for sharing this, JamaGenee. Robert Kiyosaki, the author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" shares you views when he says that a house if a Liability and not an Asset as many people think.

  • purpleb profile image

    purpleb 8 years ago from Spain

    I love this! I think exactly the same way and I own an apartment in snowy Finland and I always think how awesome it is that I don't have to get rid of the snow in my own yard :)

  • profile image 8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

    i love renting - i dont like the idea of being bound to a mortgage

  • Cindy Letchworth profile image

    Cindy Letchworth 8 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

    Nice piece. Home ownership is everything you say, and it can be downright agony when you have to shell out loads of cash in order to have a simple water heater or a/c unit installed. Thanks for giving us all something to think about.

  • jesandherboys profile image

    jesandherboys 8 years ago from Christiansburg, Virginia

    I am also a renter, and I love it. I would not change a thing. I see what pains my friends have to go through and I don't want the hassle. I too like my life simple and peaceful. Great hub!

    Juanita A happy renter in Virginia

  • TotalReviewGuy profile image

    TotalReviewGuy 8 years ago from Your Computer

    Rent or own, as long as you're happy with it, that's the important thing.


  • cobraski profile image

    cobraski 8 years ago from Maryland

    I enjoy renting. No grass to cut, no repairs to worry about.

  • profile image

    Susan Catt 8 years ago

    I'm an ex-home owner and raised by a builder of homes with the American Dream drilled into me. I now rent, and although I still look for long term security (which I realize is a myth), I love not having to be repsonsible for taxes and repairs, and knowing that maybe I'm helping someone else make ends meet while I live simply and comfortably stress free.

    Thanks for posting a wee bit of sanity!

    ;) S

  • najasway profile image

    Naja 8 years ago from Long Beach

    I am both a renter AND an owner... I rent the home my son and I live it (And love having someone else responsible for the gardener, and broken pipes, and faulty roof tops) but I am also the person responsible for these very things for another person's "home."

    I must say that the benefits of ownership have gotten me througha couple of rough patches (hello Home Equity Line of Credit) and allows me a very nice deduction and return at the end of the year.

    There's also something nice about my "home" being the responsibility of someone else!

    Thanks for a great post... I definitely understand both sides of the fence...

  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

    great hub.

    We rent a three-bedroom flat in central London. House prices here in the UK went absolutely insane over the past 10 years or so, just out of all sanity. They've come down about 15% since the peak in August 2007, but are still dropping fast.

    Our flat was theoretically "worth" £700,000 (about $1.2 million?) at the peak. The rent we are paying wouldn't even cover half the mortgage, actually quite a bit less. And we don't pay to run it, mend stuff, or the £2,000 a year service charge (lifts, cleaning the common parts).

  • profile image

    Iphigenia 8 years ago

    I owned once over 25 years ago - and have rented ever since. I did not like the responsibilites of owning - so much easier to call the landlord when there's problem. I did not like how long it took to sell when I wanted to move. In fact it took so long that I was gazumped - having lost the property that I wanted to buy I had to rent - and bot was my mind eased. That all happened in the UK. I've now lived for 7 years in France where renting is much more the norm.

  • profile image

    don p 8 years ago

    you sound resentful and i bet you have bad credit

  • bgamall profile image

    Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    Home equity lines of credit are drying up. I am with you author, this home ownership thing is like a millstone around your neck. If inflation raises house prices the bubble will not last long. We are onto the game of phony government. As long as government manipulates the currency it is better not to own. I have written hubs on why it is a trap to buy at low interest rates when you know that they cannot be maintained, but will likely go up alot if inflation comes back. You could lose value in your house if inflation eats away at that value. Selling into high interest rates diminishes your return.

  • jennie brown profile image

    jennie brown 8 years ago from nc

    Yes you are correct. Now today 2009 we are finding out we should not of bought this condo because like you say, you dont ever own nothing and facts are you can find a nice place to rent and they fix what goes wrong, pay the taxes, pay the water bills, sometimes if you get lucky the utilities. no more home owner as; fees and just all the rest . Gee im ready to sell this 2 bedroom condo with 2 full baths and walkin closets all newly remodled,1900 sq feet and on first floor in charlotte nc, too old to be a homeowner. all newly redecorated . you can have it real cheap.

  • unclesam profile image

    unclesam 8 years ago from India

    So tiresome coming to the end of this page( hehe) ...

    LOL gamajeme(or is it?) ...nice hub in the making...

  • profile image

    Ted Ellis 8 years ago

    Yes a big advantage of renting is that if the Jamaican Steel Band move in as your neighbors you are not stuck with them - just move on to another rental home.

  • profile image

    Kaloey 8 years ago

    Enjoyed reading this. In my little patch of the world, it has proved more economical to buy. A few years ago, we bought just before real estate prices went up and ended with a profit when we sold. Also, I'm the type of person who can't save, so what I have tied up in the house makes up most of my savings.

  • bgamall profile image

    Gary Anderson 8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    That won't likely happen again. Houses generally only go up at the rate of inflation, and we are deflating now. If there is inflation in the future there may be serious issues with down payment and credit qualifications. Also if there is inflation you may sell at a loss because of higher interest rates. Point is, fiat money manipulation and 30 year mortgages may be a risky combination.

  • ftclick profile image

    ftclick 8 years ago

    We know this is not just a USA phenomenon. It is happenng worldwide. Europe, Australia and even 3rd world countries real estate is dried up, lending is at rock bottom. Some thigns I do;t get about parts fo the coutnry are: some people iv eintheir apt for 20+ years and the owenr never sets foot inside. Yet, in part pof CA the owners seems to always needing to enter your apartment for some BS inspection, turn the water off for repairs, etc. So, how do you get an apartment that truly is very private and the landlord isnot constantly bothering you.. By thenm way, there is some good nfo on the web why renting is always better based on living in the San Francisco bay area.

  • gpetrou85 profile image

    gpetrou85 8 years ago from greece


  • compu-smart profile image

    compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

    Excellent hub JamaGenee!

    I feel much happier now knowing I also don't buy and-have always rented!!

    I would love to see another hub titled "Why I Own" Not Rent! to see if the grass is greener on the other side!


  • mayhmong profile image

    mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

    That is so true! Renting is better than buying a home. I sure miss our rental house! This gives me an idea of how horrible this new house has been for us. It's no wonder no one bought it but my mom.

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    Meka J 8 years ago


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    iMindMap 8 years ago

    very true

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    Susan M 8 years ago

    Excellent hub! You have made some great points. My husband and I have rented and owned and are currently 'owning' again. Our fondest memories are of a rental house we lived in for three years in the country. Complete freedom, great landlord and we had money to do things. Now we have a mortgage again, property taxes, and currently a repair to our propane system that will cost $$. Our son is three years away from college and we are thinking of selling the house, taking our modest profit, and renting for the next five years or so. We could enjoy these last three years with our son and do some traveling together, and as someone else commented, he would be eligible for more financial aid in college. I would disagree with those who say home ownership is freedom. So many of my weekends are not 'free' because of things we have to take care of around the house. You can't take it with you --- I will be old and gray and grateful for the time I had with my husband and son. As long as I have a nice, clean place to live in what does it matter?

  • praxus profile image

    praxus 8 years ago

    Cool hub. I rent too :)

  • profile image

    Rick Lim 8 years ago

    There are deifinate positives to renting, I own a house... and maybe if I didn't make as much money as I do now, I would definatly rent, many people are House Poor and dont even realize that times are changing.

    Working a JOB (just over broke) having 2 kids, buy a house and retire on a pension... It just doesn't work like that anymore. Dont buy a house unless its all cash... otherwise you will lose your shirt in compound interest over 30+ yrs.

    Great Hub

  • Free-Tax-Filing profile image

    Free-Tax-Filing 8 years ago

    Don't even get me started on the "forced savings plan" aka mortgages that everyone insists is the right thing to do for yourself financially. It's ludicrous.

    I say spend your money on growing businesses - either buying ownership shares of companies that you understand and feel are important to people like you or by starting a business that make you money over the long term by doing something you LOVE!!! By the end of those same 30 years you'll have enough money to buy 2 houses outright.

  • withlovearun profile image

    withlovearun 8 years ago from Chennai/TamilNadu

    Nice Hub Friend...... Thumbs up

  • Travel by Design profile image

    Travel by Design 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    I live in NY and of the 8  places I've lived (in 8 years) have never once had a good landlord. Never. Never had a landlord come to do basic maintenance without calling 10x or having to call the housing department first, never had an apartment without thin walls and crappy neighbors, never had to -not- complain about a lack of heat, never had the rent not jacked up on me by less than 10%, never had an apartment I felt like I could truly relax in and call my own.

    In theory and on paper I think you're correct. But in reality.... I'd rather have a place I was in control of then be at the mercy of a landlord who does not have my best interest at heart.

  • profile image

    La Vida Aloha 8 years ago

    I rent because I choose to live well above my means. I live in a million dollar condo for nothing. I have lived here for 16 years and have relished in life at the beach. I may not own much, but I am as close to a shiek as you will find. My money goes to travel, essentials, autos, and mouse ....

    My landlord is like a father to me and his castle is my dwelling ... I wish all owners well and hope your dreams end like mine......


  • RiaMorrison profile image

    Ria Bridges 8 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

    Interesting Hub, and you make some good points. Not enough to sway my own opinion on the subject, though. While owning a home can be quite expensive and there are extra responsibilities that go along with it that one can avoid by simply renting an apartment instead, I still have dreams of living in my own house someday. I have dreams of decorating the place how I'd like, without having to get landlord permission to repaint or rewallpaper. I want a yard I can plant vegetables and fruits in; sure can't do that in a public park! I want to be able to sleep at night without hearing my next door neighbour playing music through a thin wall. I want to look at my residence and be able to say, "This is mine." There's definite appeal to that.

    But you're right that renting has its upsides. I got a brand new fridge when moving into my current apartment (though it stays when I leave, so I can't exactly say that the fridge is mine). I get the security of knowing that if the walls fall apart, I don't have to pay to fix them. I don't have to pay property taxes. My rent gets paid once a month and that's all the financial figuring I really have to do. Yes, definite advantages to renting rather than owning.

    But me, I've still got the dream of owning my own place someday. It won't solve all my problems, and may create new ones, but it's a dream, and I don't aim to let it down. :)

  • profile image

    Anthony James Barnett - author 8 years ago

    I have to admit that recently I've been changing my mind about home ownership.

    I've always owned my home, but as the years creep by, I see more advantge to renting. It gives far greater freedom for movement and there's less responsibility. The capital released from my villa in Spain would earn sufficient interest to MORE than pay any rental - plus I could start to eat into it as I grow older.

  • midnightbliss profile image

    Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

    Its always nice to have a place that you can consider your own but you have justified your ideas that its better to rent than to own... i'm starting to think about it now. LOLs

  • CharBrar profile image

    CharBrar 8 years ago from Chicago

    What a great suggestion. It would have saved a lot of headaches and heartaches by not having to worry about mortgage and property taxes.

  • Shane Belceto profile image

    Shane Belceto 8 years ago from WA USA

    Great note and you made your case ... definently the right decision  for you.   And NO one should ever be looked at as second class for smart moves that are perfect for them.  

    For me I just had to own a home since being an aparment dweller in some icky apartments as a kid always moving from one complex to another.   Being able to have some space to move about rather then some 2 bedroom one bath up the stairs place.     I will add too yes having to do a few things or wanting a bathroom totally diff does cost ... but the freedom of being able to do it and not have to ask is great for us.   Plus our homes have been good to us first one we got for 90k lived and njoyed it for 7 years and received 165k for it, second one was equally nice when we went from 1000 sq ft to 3000 sq ft.   That home we only stayed in for a little over 2 years and it grew from 240k to the 335k we sold it for.    From this I have received more then I have put in each of them.   We  will see about this current home.    I know I could never stay in one for 30 years so some day we will know.   But like my mother and father in law who have been in the same home now for 37 years and paid only 17k for it they will get a profit for sure when they are done with it.   

    So for me I see value in both ... freedom in both ... and wise decisions by both.    All really depends as you point out on what you wish to spend your time and weekends on ... smiles.  

    ~Expect Miracles

  • Jezzie profile image

    Jezzie 8 years ago from The Left Coast

    Wonderful and assuring to see another sees the "goldmine" in renting such as myself.

  • thisisoli profile image

    thisisoli 8 years ago from Austin, Texas (From York, England!)

    When you buy ahouse though you will have something you can sell fro hundreds of thousands, when you rent you get nothing back.

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    Sally 8 years ago

    It is great news for all the landlords out there who are making fantastic residual income from renters! Landlords have never done so well as they are doing right now - talk about a recession proof business! I want to own rentals some day and attract good tenants like yourself who will appreciate and care for the property as much as I do.

  • Lena M. profile image

    Lena M. 8 years ago from Toronto

    I think it all depends on where you live. I'm from Toronto, and if you look at suburbs in the metropolitan area, say, a three bedroom house varies in price tremendously depending on where you buy it. The rent? Not so much. The advantage of renting depends on the location.

    Though if you think about it... the landlord is usually either making money or breaking even with you. And they build up equity. And that landlord gets something out of it, and you don't. Unless, in rare situations, the house disastrously plummets in value

  • Bard of Ely profile image

    Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

    I rent too and doubt if I will ever do anything different unless by some miracle I ever become wealthy and able to buy my own place! lol

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    Fat Harold 8 years ago

    well soon the government will own all the homes we live in and provide us with all the jobs we work.

    from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.

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    Valerie C 8 years ago

    When I owned my own home I was in debt up to my eyeballs! I now rent because of some of the things you listed! Great hub!

  • Ashxyz profile image

    Ashxyz 8 years ago from In Corrupt Illinois haha

    Good hub..there are definitely pluses and minuses on both sides. In these times I can see why many would opt to rent instead of buy a house..however, some of those foreclosures are a nice temptation for buying.

  • denisewrtr37 profile image

    denisewrtr37 8 years ago from Philadelphia

    I agree. The only thing with purchasing a house is that if your house holds up and you don't have to do a lot of repairs after you pay it off, it can be much cheaper than renting in the long run, but that's generally after years of paying a mortgage.

    Great article!


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    Secured Homeowner Loan 8 years ago

    Yes... i 100% i agree in that...I rent house for 15 years ...iwas disappointed that if i only loan house past 5 years i think i have my own house instead of renting.

  • purpleb profile image

    purpleb 8 years ago from Spain

    What about buying an apartment? Here in Finland we have a system much like buying a home where you can buy an apartment and then sell it when you move. It's kind of like a home but with less yard work.

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    finchnyc 8 years ago

    Does anyone know more about what tax breaks home ownership can offer over renting? In NY, buying a condo or co-op doesn't seem to make much sense. After taxes and maintenance fees, renting is usually cheaper. However, if you're a neighborhood that's appreciating, you can easily make 100k in profit after selling in just a few years.

    But buying a home seems to offer more tax breaks and incentives, not to mention more control over your quality of life than shared walls, noise, and deadbeat landlords.

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    uboc-style 8 years ago

    Well Written!nice piece of work with lot of useful information...

  • Lisa HW profile image

    Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

    I agree with the person who previously mentioned that he/she doesn't think owning a home is as bad as you make it out to be. As I write this, I am thinking of the giant yellow (for gas) and blue (for water) markings on the street outside my home, which - because the town decided to install a sewer system - which will cost several thousand dollars for hook-up to the new sewers. At the same time, in my area, a nice three-bedroom apartment or home (particularly one suitable for a family) would cost someone, probably, between $1700 and $2000 a month. Somehow that puts the cost of sewer hook-up into a little perspective.

    There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to everything; but I really think any disadvantages to owning a home are far outweighed by the advantage of being able to do what one wants. Some homeowners, of course, do pay their monthly mortgage instead of rent; but at some point in their life the home will, in fact, belong completely to them (as opposed to having little to show for that $2000 a month for years and years). Owning a home may not be for everyone; but even with the need to hire the snowplow guy or else clear the driveway yourself, I still think owning a home is nice thing - not a terrible thing.

  • purpleb profile image

    purpleb 8 years ago from Spain

    I've kind of started changing my mind on this subject now that I've read all the comments.

    I agree that buying a home or even an apartment and paying mortgage instead of rent is smarter.

    I don't know how much a house costs to maintain yearly, but the apartment I own costs around $130/month on maintenance.

  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

    "I agree that buying a home or even an apartment and paying mortgage instead of rent is smarter."

    You just can't say that as an absolute.

    The flat we live in, for example, in central London. Our rent is the same as 2% of the property's value, per year. If we were to buy it, we'd not be able to borrow money at 2% a year. And the value is falling.

    So buying would be a rather silly thing to do.

  • thejimster profile image

    thejimster 8 years ago

    Hi there

    I perfectly agree with you in this matter, but this only applies in the US and in western european countries. In other countries the laws do not protect the guy who has a rent, and the owners sometimes choose to impose strange and abnormal rules, like visiting unanounced, asking the guys who rent their house to do stuff they are not normally obliged to do (like keeping the owner's plant in their "home" and make sure it stays alive and well).

    The owner in the apartment i'm living in, for example, comes sometimes to visit and check on us. If nobody is home, he just uses his key and shamelessly enters the aparment, checking if we hadn't "destroyed" the house.

    He knows we are good, civilised people and we would never ruin our own homes, but this is his kinky pleasure and we can't do anything about it, because the law does not forbid him to enter his "own home".

    So I believe it's safe to say that your arguments only apply in some cases, because in other cases it's much better to own your own home.

  • runningbandit profile image

    runningbandit 8 years ago from Michigan

    I'm 23 years old and with an economy like this, espescially in Michigan and with me working for Ford, I would not dream of buying a house right now. I rent for under $600, which includes gas and water and i have a thousand square feet of living space with 2 bedrooms, which isn't bad. I like the fact that my gas is paid for espescially considering I know people that are spending $200-$300 and more on their gas bills a month.

  • MindField profile image

    MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

    To those who believe owning a home is superior to renting - I always thought so, too. Then I went through a divorce ten years ago. I made getting the house in the divorce settlement my priority, thinking it was the only thing I wanted or needed. In many ways, it has been a millstone around my neck ever since.

    I have never had the income to keep it up the way it should be and, although I paid it off in full by having my mother as my roommate for seven years, I was forced three years ago to refinance in order to make it saleable. Then I hit a patch of one short-lived job after another and here I am, saddled with a house that has lost two-thirds of its value and realtors who tell me that without granite countertops, hardwood floors, brand new appliances and the like, no one will consider it.

    Do I wish I had a comfortable little rented flat or house with a tiny garden for the pets instead of a home built for a family of four or five with an enormous unlandscaped yard? Well, let me just say that, at the moment, it sounds like a godsend. 

  • linjingjing profile image

    linjingjing 8 years ago

    Interesting article

  • kiwi91 profile image

    kiwi91 8 years ago from USA

    Great points. I've rented and owned, and I agree, it's more fun to rent. After reading this, I'm longing for the days when I only had to pay $800 a month (it would probably be much less than that now in this economy for the place I was living!). If you purchased a home within the last five years, there's a good chance you're going to be there for a while. It's hard to build equity when the price of your home is falling faster than any money you can shovel towards the interest on your mortgage.

    And do you ever truly own your home? You still have to pay taxes...stop paying them and we'll see who truly owns your home. Great hub!

  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

    "I rent for under $600, which includes gas and water and i have a thousand square feet of living space with 2 bedrooms, which isn't bad. I like the fact that my gas is paid for espescially considering I know people that are spending $200-$300 and more on their gas bills a month."

    We pay £1,600 a month for about 1,000 sq feet, three bed flat, incl. water and service charge, but not gas or electricity. Those two together come to an extra £80 or so a month.

  • Brook Winters profile image

    Brook Winters 8 years ago

    I like your opinion

  • mandybeau profile image

    mandybeau 8 years ago

    Having rented, leased, owned, with a mortgage and owned freehold, over the years, I was, of the opinion that tenants were better off Pretty much for the reasons your Hub gives..

    But nothing beats the in the middle of the coldest winter ever winter rain pouring down to be told that it was time to move, as the landlord had sold.(one month settlement and not a clear sky in sight, ) (First and only time I ever ever rented.) Never again.

    You have to move all your junk and clean out one house to move into another one, where Wellingtons, have been through it a 100 times by the hoards of willing helpers. That is if you can find that you like, that is available. Landlords here, even at the top end of the scale, (I have never rented an old dump, except one for a Studio. some years back.) are not that big on regular maintenance unless it is something earthshattering, or an obvious health hazard. So you have to live with their crap colour schemes as they don't like painting, much in case the next tenants dislike your taste. Weird, that they assume someone might actually like theirs. O.K. (I am extremely fussy) so maintenance costs money, but rent works out more expensive, and at the end of the day you own nothing. The idea is to work hard and pay off earlier.

    I would find it hard to believe that the average rent out here $250. US. per week would be needed for maintenance insurance rates etc. and also as you would only buy, when there is a slump in market prices you will also realise a profit in more bouyant times.

    Sorry to disagree. As for a cemetary being a nice place to spend time Sorry that thought is totally foreign to me. Plus why would you take a bag of sandwiches into the park and eat them when you lived close by, you would be marauded by birds, wouldn't you. Good for the figure, I guess Lunch Sharing lol.

  • runningbandit profile image

    runningbandit 8 years ago from Michigan

    I would like to eventually buy a house. But as of right now, with everything in the shitter, I don't want to chance anything. And besides alot of the houses that are up for sell that we've looked at have been foreclosed and people just left and they either trashed it or because of not being maintained it needs ALOT of work. For Example, there is a newer subdivision being built near buy, the houses towards the front of the subdivision are about 5 years old now and we've gone and looked at a few and they've been trashed or have been let to go to shit. Like this one house that wasn't winterized and the pipes bursted, destroying everything and they were still trying to sell it, however I noticed a BIG problem, there was black mold growing everywhere, and now the house is condemed. There were at least 5 houses that we've looked at that were like this, others had everything tore out, drywall, outlets, electrical, ceilings were destryed. Even houses being bought have hidden things that people are doing to them, my buddy just bought a house, knowing he had to fix it up, but whoever had it before him had poured Quickrete down all the drains and allowed them to harden. I guess where I am going with this is, that even though prices of houses are down because of the market, just be weary and have Everything looked over.

  • workathome-jobs profile image

    workathome-jobs 8 years ago from New Zealand

    Great hub. I bought a house last year with mortgate of $250K. $145K is the intersest for bank. I work hard for the bank. So I sold my house with a profit in this bad market. Thanks for the "sold your house in 21 days" I am pretty happy to rent now. I can just move to anywhere I want to go. That is the real freedom. I think I will sell most of my big furnitures as well. Make it even easier1 Yahooo!

    Anyone want to sell your house in this bad market, you can go to to look for some good advices.

  • Lulu1220 profile image

    Lulu1220 8 years ago from Dallas

    It seems everytime we get extra money, something in the house needs to be repaired. We are about to have the air conditioner fixed soon and who knows how much that will cost!

    I would much rather use my extra money to travel to see family and friends or take that trip to Europe.

  • profile image

    chadw1ckwhitfiel 8 years ago

    At this point in time, I think more and more people will understand the importance of what you are saying. Buying a house was often handled like a gamble that "wasn't really a gamble" - because it "can't go wrong", house prices will rise no matter what, right?

    Well, a few months down the line many people have learnt a valuable lesson.. There is no such thing as a constant curve upwards.

    Congrats on a great hub!

  • profile image

    jazzdrive3 8 years ago

    Sometimes renting makes sense. Sometimes it doesn't. It's never one or the other, but what makes most sense financially at the time. Now, of course, would be the time to rent while housing prices continue to their downward push.

  • japanese words profile image

    japanese words 8 years ago from Japan

    With the cost of houses compared to wages owning a house is not "the dream" it has been made out to be for sure. Though I think there are certain cases where purchasing a house can make sense (finding an amazing price) etc, but there is a freedom in renting.

  • russellhub profile image

    russellhub 8 years ago

    Hi Jama,

    Nice post.

    For all of us poor home owners out there (and I use the term own loosely) please tell me there is something that is okay about home ownership?

    For me I know I can't sell in the next 12 months but at least I an sure the view from the bedroom window will still be the same.

    No escape is a tenable if you like where you live.

    Maybe in 5 years. my options will be open again. My wife fancies Sarasota, Florida. Netx time I will rent.


  • Lgali profile image

    Lgali 8 years ago

    Very nice hub JamaGenee. Excellent points

  • profile image

    Sun 8 years ago

    Great points. You make me feel like so much less of a loser for not owning a home. Maybe you're right about the so called American Dream. Maybe things have changed so much that its not all its cracked up to be anymore. The home prices are incredibly higher than they were when America was first settled.

  • profile image

    HomeOwner 8 years ago

    Jama- Sounds like your making excuses for being lazy. It is hard work to care for your own home and I take great pride in it. It is the best financial investment anyone can make - perhaps it is not for those- like yourself- who spend most of the day sitting on their duff.

  • MindField profile image

    MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

    HomeOwner: We can be happy that the world is full of people who take great pride in their homes like you. But why would you possibly leap to the conclusion that renters are lazy? Many of them may be far busier than you doing work equally or more important. Let's play nice, please, and treat everyone with at least a modicum of respect (if that's all you can muster). Thank you.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    HomeOwner, I have a feeling you won't be back to read this, but I'm curious as to why you think renters are "lazy" and spend their days "sitting on their duff".

    Do I detect a lot of jealousy there?  Jealous because renters don't spend our evenings and weekends doing whatever it is *you* have to do to maintain that house and yard??

    Maybe a little anger, too, because *our* after-bills income is going for FUN things like trips and hobbies instead of to a big box home improvement store and roofers and plumbers? 

    This hub is NOT making excuses for being lazy. Not everyone wants the hassle of homeownership. Maybe you should get rid of that house and take a long vacation! ;}

  • BardScribe profile image

    BardScribe 8 years ago from Iowa

    My parents lived in church-based housing all the while my dad was in active ministry. We never had to really bother with paying rent or upkeep on the house, but every problem we had with a house HAD to be brought before the church board of trustees before things got fixed, and when you're dealing with small-church board members, you have to be prepared to meet up with super-duper control freaks who don't want to do ANYthing with the house even if it's just a tiny little $100 repair and the church budget has way more than enough room for it.

    Plus, when one is in church-based housing, it's pretty much the same as renting. You do NOT get a choice of color scheme when you move in. Any repainting has to be run yet again by the board of trustees, and they have the power to say yay or nay. Most of the time, my parents haven't had much trouble in that arena as we would be the ones buying the paint. However, as I said before, there are always going to be people on that church board who don't want anything changed...they will fight tooth and nail against someone repainting or changing the color scheme all round, just because they think EVERYone just looooves beige, beige and more beige.

    If I want to look at continuous light tan, ambers, olives and pumpkin oranges, I'll move to the Arizona desert. But I do NOT want those colors in my home unless they're very BRIEF accent colors.

    So I would rather go through the hassle of someday buying a home and be able to decorate it as I please with no need of having to ask ANYone's permission.

    Yes, there are property taxes, but those go to help fund the building of new schools which many cities and towns sorely need but don't often get because the people vote no on the propositions--just so they don't have to pay those taxes. Sorry, but if you want your town to be prided on good schools, pay your property taxes and don't fuss when there's a hike to fund newer, better buildings.

    Yes, there are high cost repairs and continual maintenance, but I believe a house is not a comfortable home unless things are running properly. And I would be the one overseeing those repairs, and by Goddess they would get done because my folks and I have had to put up with do-nothing financial control freaks. I'd want my significant other and my kids to live in comfort and health, not discomfort and bad health.

    So that's my perspective on it.

  • profile image

    Jim Bauer 8 years ago

    As a landlord, of course, it is important to have a customer. I must admit that there are several costs to owning property as opposed to renting it from someone. There are benefits as well, including many tax deductions I can take for interest paid, taxes paid, and on the rental property I can write off a good many other expenses as well, including wear and tear and mileage expenses on my personal vehicle to maintain the property. In any situation, it is better to do the real math. If it works out for you to rent vs. own, then rent. But the opposite could hold true.

  • queen cleopatra profile image

    queen cleopatra 8 years ago

    owning a house is like owning a car. you have all the worries of various kinds of payments. 2 years ago, we got fed up with owning both so we opted to renting a small space at my parent's house. we sold the vehicle, too, so we have no more major financial worries anymore--except the utilities bills, of course. commuting is fun and walking is exercise. yeah, i definitely agree with you. life is much simpler without owning and carrying heavy baggages. :)

  • profile image

    angelica 8 years ago

    I have both owned and rented, and hated both at a point. When we owned we lived in a townhouse and the strata was stupid. On the otherhand with renting you don't have the stability. If the owner goes suddenly into forclosure, you probably will have to move yourself and if you happen to have been there for years, planned to be there for many more and say, have a dog or cat you may have to give up your pet(s). You could be the best tenent but if the owners grown kids need a place, your gone. At least with owning, you don't need to worry about, say, being just a couple weeks away from pregnancy due date and learning you have 30 days to get out because the owners kids need the space. Even with owning, ifyou go into foreclosure it still takes a few months and something could be worked out to stop it. Renting, once your told to leave you have 30 days, no if ands or buts. So pros and cons for sure on both sides. When we owned we had one problem, the fridge died...that was it for repairs/maintanence. I personally am planning to buy again real soon (currently renting) but I do see your point, and it makes a lot of sence.

  • DJ Funktual profile image

    DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

    I am with you on this one for sure. I have always rented. I've beeen to 30 of these United States and the story is the same, "no thanks, I'll rent"!

  • pkoson profile image

    pkoson 8 years ago

    Why I Rent Not Own

    I think this hub is the anti-anti-toxin to anxiety! Help, the verbosity of it is making me anxious!

  • profile image

    John 8 years ago

    Call me romantic, I like knowing I (and the bank for the present) own a piece of the earth. I like fixing things and puttering around in the yard.

    But I see and appreciate your points!

  • profile image

    J Mockridge 8 years ago

    I enjoy the 'perks' of renting, but if I had the money to buy a house outright, I would. As it stands, I obviously don't have the cash, so renting suits my lifestyle. Good hub!

  • B.T. Evilpants profile image

    B.T. Evilpants 8 years ago from Hell, MI

    Hi Jama. We found the "American Dream" when we bought our house. We felt such pride of ownership. We finally had a place to call our own, you know? Funny thing, though. That all wore off over time. No major catastrophes, or anything like that. But it eventually just becomes a house. And the way the market is today, it's a house that we owe more on than we could get from selling! I'm sure we will go back to renting at some point. I haven't soured on the ownership thing. I'm just not likely to do it again until it involves 30 acres, and a stocked pond.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Time was, B.T., when pioneers could lay claim to several acres near a pristine stream, clear the land, build a cabin, plant crops, get a few chickens and a cow, and be proud it was all theirs.  Fast forward 150 years.  Too many are still under the "Pioneer Spell" to have something to call their own.  But as you said, after awhile it 'just becomes a house'.  A house that right now isn't worth as much as you owe on it.  

    I'm sure the market will go back up - it already has in some places - but if you absolutely *had* to move right now, out of state for instance, you either give your current house away or pay for two homes.  Neither a pleasant outcome. (Be glad I haven't posted a pic of the log cabin-ish house near a road I travel often that has a huge pond 20 feet from the front door, with its own dock to fish from - if the owner doesn't feel like rowing out to the middle.  Even I wouldn't mind living there!)

  • OptimistsOnly profile image

    OptimistsOnly 8 years ago from Christchruch, New Zealand

    I'm with you on this one. I owned a home in Las Vegas during the rise & fall of the housing market. I also was a Human Resources Director for a mortgage company & had the displeasure of laying off hundreds of people during my tenure.

    My dream of living at the beach in CA has now come true due to the fact that I am sharing a home with 2 other people.....paying rent. Roomates at 39 is something I never thought I would do until I opened up my heart to new ways of thinking. Now I am living my dream at the beach and have also left the field Human Resources.

    The great American dream isn't limited to "home ownership". Renting is what had helped to enable my dream to come true.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    OptimistsOnly, you clearly understand 'one size does not fit all'! Good for you for being flexible enough to realize renting is not a 'bad' thing if it enables you to live your dream! (And last time I heard, sand doesn't have to be mowed.) ;D

  • Avare profile image

    Avare 8 years ago

    Both sides has merits and demerits :)

  • profile image

    A.M. Gwynn 8 years ago

    Well said! I too am in the ranks of "The Renter"... (it sounds so dirty) Ha! Perhaps it is the nomad in me that keeps me from putting down roots, yet I feel everywhere is my home, if I make it so. I can instantly acclimate to any surrounding, any new city. Maybe one day... I'll plant something? Love this hub!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, A.M. "Everywhere is my home". What a wonderful attitude, like Citizen of the World. As for "The Renter" sounding "dirty", I once overheard a well-to-do couple discussing another guest at a cocktail party. The wife said rather haughtily, "But he rents, you know". As if that was the sum total of the man's character and worth. I laughed so hard I had to leave the room. After that, the joke in our group was "But he owns, you know". ;D

  • maggs224 profile image

    maggs224 8 years ago from Sunny Spain

    really good hub has given me lots to think about, I will have to come back to read the rest of the comments as there are so many of them but it would be a shame not to come back and finish reading them as they too are interesting.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Well thank you, maggs. Glad to hear you'll be back to read the rest of the comments so far!

  • D Cortez profile image

    D Cortez 8 years ago from California

    That was a great hub Jama. I rent myself and it is a hell of alot easier to deal with. By the way, do you pay renters insurance? I don't, but everybody I know keeps insisting that I do.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, D Cortez!  As for renter's insurance, I've never felt the need for it except when I had several antiques that were family heirlooms.  The basic policy was quite inexpensive, but the rider for the antiques wasn't.  They were one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable, but not something a burglar would carry off, so over time I would've paid more in premiums than they were worth at auction. 

    Don't have them anymore, and other than my computer and a tub of old family photos, not much I'd really regret losing if (knock on wood) there were a fire.  Most of my furniture came from yard sales, so it doesn't have insurance when the cost to replace to replace the items would be less than the premiums over several years.

    That said, if your furniture is brand new and/or you have a lot of expensive electronics, then renter's insurance would be a good investment.

  • profile image

    Lynn 7 years ago

    I just spent about 45 days searching for a home. Apparently, that is not very much time to invest in looking, but a realtor-acquaintence had me convinced that if I did not take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit from the government that I would be sorry, and the rates are really low now, you better do it now! I never bought a house before and well, I'm over 45...gosh I should really do it now! For one thing I have never been able to afford a down payment. Now that I have been able to save for that, I would wipe out my savings for own ownership. It just so happens my car, just tonight had problems, I had to be towed, and ended up having to rent a car until it can be repaired. I realized that if I signed the contract on the townhouse this week, that I would be stressed to the max right now. I pretty much made up my mind that I would be better off tucking money away each month to save for a "rainy day" and it figuratively and literally rained this week. The wonderful thing about it is that I could handle it, I did not stress out because I did not have the funds to take care of myself during this crisis. I will not be broke and I can do what it takes to take care of my transportation.

    Another reason for deciding to continue to rent is my house-buying experience. Good gravy! I've never seen so much paper, and I had several people tell me I need to hire a lawyer to walk me through the process. It exhausted me to even look at these documents. Then every day, I learned something new that I would need to purchase...home warranty, title insurance, on and on and on.

    I do not like green eggs and ham!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Lynn, at least you didn't learn the downside of home "ownership" the hard way (actually signing all those papers)!

    I read somewhere recently that as late as the early 1900s, it was a source of shame to be in debt...and that applied to home owners. Back then, you were either rich enough to buy a home outright, or you'd saved up to buy one outright. If neither scenario fit your situation, you rented, possibly your entire life.

    At some point, it became "okay" to get a loan to purchase a home, had to have a good job and a *substantial* part of the purchase price (50-60%) before a bank would even consider loaning the difference. Also, they were short term mortgages, say 10 years. 30-year mortgages were unheard of.

    Little by little, the requirements were relaxed and "owning a home" became a national mantra. It became a measure of your character that a bank would lend you *most* of the money to buy a home...partly because the banks made millions on the interest on mortgages.

    Now that home "ownership" has become much less attractive - a millstone around one's neck and one's finances - I predict many more people will be like Lynn and say "no thanks" to home-buying.

  • My Mind, Spoken profile image

    My Mind, Spoken 7 years ago from Saint Petersburg, Florida

    I DID learn the hard way, but I'm walking a better, clearer path today. I traded my house for my freedom.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Good for you!

  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Beautifully done! I am traveling allot but I must admit I miss my yard. I am enjoying this chapter of my life - and that is the point - it is the journey not the possessions. Great Hub!

  • Sheila Berger profile image

    Sheila Berger 7 years ago

    I am so glad that others feel the same way my husband and I have for so many years, we have never owned a home, yes, we did get the looks from family and friends, but we have learned to live inexpensively. Don't we say "Til Death Do Us Part" when we get married = not when we sign for a mortgage.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Sheila, I'm guessing the looks you get because you choose to rent are similar to childless couple who choose not to have children. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same!

  • profile image

    Car Donations 7 years ago

    Good points. I am not sure if I agree with you. But your case is valid. It depends on if you value having your own land that you can call your own. I just bought my first home. I have to paint, fix and repair things. But I have the satisfaction of doing everything on my own. To each it's own. Renting gets a bad wrap, which it does not deserve.

  • profile image

    MF 7 years ago

    Fantastic hub. I have sent your link to several friends. We are in the "home-free," "childfree" club -- not "homeless," "childless." ;) Cheers and thanks!

  • Tammy L profile image

    Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

    My sentiments exactly. I've been renting the same apartment for the past 18 years and don't plan to buy a house (or condo) anythime in the near future.

  • susiequeue profile image

    susiequeue 6 years ago from Glasgow, UK

    So great to see this perspective represented, we're all a bit brainwashed into thinking property ownership is something everyone should be aiming for but few people stop to ask why..! It's definitely interesting that it's viewed differently in other cultures..

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Yes, susiequeue, other cultures do not place a stigma on renting (and renters) as we do in the U.S. In other countries, it's a given that only the rich will own their primary residence, as well as other residences that they rent to the not-rich. Also, in other cultures, having a mortgage is shameful because it shows one has not been financially prudent. In such cultures, being in debt is to be avoided by any means necessary, whereas in the U.S. being in debt to mortgage and credit card companies is considered a sign of affluence. It makes no sense to me, either.

  • susiequeue profile image

    susiequeue 6 years ago from Glasgow, UK

    Absolutely, it's a scary thought that entire societies can be convinced into viewing what is essentially a kind of voluntary enslavement as desirable.. P.S. I'm in the UK but things are exactly the same here. However, people do seem to be questioning our financial / economic systems a little more since everything started to fall apart over the past couple of years - so maybe there is hope!

  • ahostagesituation profile image

    SJ 6 years ago

    Wonderful hub! I've come close to buying twice now, and I'm so happy I got talked out of it. The flexibility has been great. It also means I get to move out of the country for a while without having to worry about finding tenants for my place like my brother does. More people should probably read your hub :-).

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thank you, ahostagesituation! Your screen name sums up my perception of home "ownership" PERFECTLY. I too am glad you were talked out of buying...not once but twice! Good girl! Have a great time living abroad without having to find tenants to keep the mortgage paid. May your brother become as smart as you someday. ;D

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

    Jama, you are pricless! I just read your reply to "Homeowner", and I quote "This hub is NOT making excuses for being lazy. Not everyone wants the hassle of homeownership. Maybe you should get rid of that house and take a long vacation! ;}

    I had the best laugh. Well, having been both a homeowner and a renter (currently renting), I have to say I prefer renting for all the reasons you have given. And I am not lazy!

    Thank you for an excellent hub. You've made me even happier than I have been. Does that make sense? It doesn't have to - I am a renter! Rated big on this one.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    vocalcoach, it's my pleasure to provide you that good laugh! I think the days when renters were considered (at best) second-class citizens and (at worst) "deadbeats" will go the way of 8-track tapes. Since home ownership no longer translates to living in an ATM machine, the **actual** costs of "owning" a home are becoming more apparent.

    I have moved to a different state but still rent, and was ever so glad to be a RENTER a month after I moved in and the shower and sink drains in my unit and the one next door backed up. Took the better part of a week for the complex's maintenance men AND a crew from a plumbing contractor to track the blockage to roots in the main in the yard. I shudder to think what the bill would have been had *I* had to pay for all that labor and special equipment! And, as in my old place, a crew comes around and mows on a regular basis, filters for the AC and furnace are provided and changed by the complex, and on trash day someone comes around and wheels everyone's bins to the curb (and returns them after!). An added bonus is the man who lives in the other half of my duplex LOVES to garden and was ecstatic when I told him to "have at it" in the flower beds on my side of our building! What's not to like about renting? ;D

  • Tom Koecke profile image

    Tom Koecke 5 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

    What a thought provoking hub, Jama! It's so contrary to what I've thought, but it makes so much sense that I've read it several times over the past few days to let it sink in!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, Tom! Always love hearing that I've made a good impression! Real estate agents and mortgage bankers, of course, would prefer that hubs (or blogs) in this ilk DON'T make sense so that they can perpetuate the myth of home "ownership". Oh, well - everybody has to make a living somehow. ;D

  • Rock_nj profile image

    John Coviello 5 years ago from New Jersey

    Interesting Hub. You make some excellent arguments for renting over owning. I think the main argument for renting is the freedom it provides one to move easily. But the other ones are equally valid.

    It does sound like you have an ideal situation though. Your rent has not gone up in 8 years (that is unusual). The home owner fixes things without a hassle (that can be a big problem when renting).

    I think buying a home has a luck component, as far as timing. I brought a townhouse in 1998, and did quite well with the real estate appreciation. I came out well ahead of renting, even with taxes, association fees, and other costs factored in. Some of it depends on where you live. If rents are high, it can be hard to get ahead by renting.

    The main argument for owning a home is that you are master of your own domain. If you want to change things, you can do it without getting permission from a landlord. There is something empowering about owning a home and putting your hard work into it.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Rock_nj, you also make some valid points, but it sounds like you were not only lucky to find a home that was cost efficient as far as taxes and such, but were realistic about the true costs of home ownership and what you could afford. Glad to hear it worked out so well for you!

  • profile image

    Husky1970 5 years ago

    There certainly are many advantages of renting over owning a home. I enjoyed this hub very much and was taken aback by the number of comments. You should feel gratified by the fact that people are still reading your hub that was written over two years ago. Your hubs are so good and thoroughly entertaining that I have started to read more and more of them.

    Now for the shocker!!!!!!! That white picket fence surrounds a Gingerbread Cottage in the Martha's Vineyard Campground. It is about 150 yards from where I am currently sitting on my front porch and typing this on my laptop. The cottage is owned by the Gerard family from Connecticutt. Unbelievable!!!! What a small world! Did you have any idea it was on Martha's Vineyard?

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Husky, with the housing market still in tatters, owning vs renting is still a major issue. You're no doubt familiar with the term "evergreen hub". This one is a good example, although I didn't write it with that in mind, so I'm as surprised as anyone that it's still being read regularly.

    So you see the Gingerbread Cottage every day? How lucky for you! I DO like it, just not the idea of the upkeep it surely requires. ;D

  • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

    Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

    I'm sure to have this hub read by my 2 daughters who are keen on saving for a house of their own in the city where they work. I see more benefits of renting than owning here. Their present apartment is awesome as it is. You got me on! Thank you for the wonderful tips! Beautiful, bookmarked, and voted up!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Lita, thanks for the kudos! If your daughters are single and in their twenties, they're definitely better off renting. What happens if one gets married and wants to live elsewhere? Or one (or both) get better jobs in a different city? Circumstances can change quickly at that age. Being tied to a house may seem like a great idea right now, but not so great a few years down the road. These are only two issues I hope they seriously consider before sinking their savings into a house. ;D

  • Mind Unsettled profile image

    Mind Unsettled 5 years ago from In My Head

    Great hub. I have this same argument with people all the time that claim owning a house is the best investment and living the "American dream". I was happier when I rented, but I bought into the BS and bought a condo. I'm now a slave to a mortgage, property taxes, repairs, etc. Plus, the market has gone to hell. So much for building equity! I'm totally upside down, so I can't even sell without taking a huge loss. And, you're right about the yard. I prefer to go to the park anyway. I think we've been brainwashed to buy homes and live the American dream. It's simply a way for the government to enslave us with more taxes, like you mentioned. Thanks for speaking up against the norm. Cheers, MU

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    MU, I think we're closer than ever to r-e-n-t no longer being a four letter word. Mainly because you aren't the only one who found out too late that "ownership" is a myth. Sorry you had to find out the hard way.

    We've been brainwashed into becoming slaves to banks and mortgage companies, who until the final payment is made, actually own the homes we think of as "ours". Talk about a sweet deal for the mortgage holder: resident caretakers who make monthly payments for the "privilege" AND pay for maintenance and any repairs for as long as 30 years to keep the MH's investment in good shape AND pay the property taxes and insurance premiums. The mortgage holder, the real owner, doesn't have to do a thing, not even mow the grass!

    At the risk of sounding like I'm gloating, even though I live in a different state from when I wrote the hub, I still rent, still live across the street from a park, still don't have to bother with or pay for yard maintenance, plumbing repairs, or pay property taxes. As I type, a crew of roofers are above me re-roofing my duplex, a roof I don't have to pay for. The unit came with flower beds all around, but since I lost my green thumb years ago, the man in the other half of the duplex was tickled pink to plant and care for flowers on my side too.

  • Rosemay50 profile image

    Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

    Good for you. We rent too. being semi retired we have nothing to hold us here. If we want to pack up and move to a different part of the country we can, without all the hassle of selling up first.

    A very good hub

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    And good for you, too, Rosemay. The packing to move to a different part of the country is enough of a hassle without the additional stress of wondering when (or IF) the left-behind house will sell. A widowed empty-nester friend is going through that right now after 30-some years at the same address. I know the area and how well the house has been maintained, but in today's market I wouldn't be in her shoes for all the tea in China. ;D

  • CASE1WORKER profile image

    CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

    I guess it depends on your view. Me, I have bought into the home ownership dream- have two mortgages, one on our home and one on a rented property. Yes, it hs been hard- but I can sell the rented one in three years time and cease work, ten years later, if I wish to. To me the sacrifices made have been worthwhile. However I know the problems having just spend a lot of money on my house. A great hub which gives a view that I had not considered.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    CASE1WORKER, thanks for sharing your side of this issue too. Hope it works out for you. Really. ;D

  • profile image

    kims3003 5 years ago

    I could not agree with you more - I am right with you on this. Great hub and great topic to write about. very nice work indeed!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thank you, kims3003! An elderly friend, widowed last year, recently moved to a retirement village 100 miles from her home of 30+ years and is now in the Catch-22 of trying to sell a beautiful 4 BR home in pristine condition but neither of two potential buyers (transferred from out of state) can go forward with the sale until the the house they own sells. Meanwhile, they're renting what they're assuming will be temporary quarters. I wouldn't bet on the temporary part. ;D

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    My dad was not only a homebuilder but also had his own Real Estate company the last many years of his life. When he died my mother still had several homes that they sold which were owner financed and it kept her afloat financially. So there are definite pros and cons of home ownership.

    When everything goes right, it can be a tidy investment. However with the financial meltdown of late, many people owe more on their homes than they are worth in this current market. Thus, it is like rolling the dice as to whether one will come out ahead financially when purchasing anything today.

    You have made some excellent points regarding the freedom of renting! Any room on "your" park bench? Sounds lovely! I still have some mulching and weeding to do here at our house...

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Peggy, you're correct that there are "pros" to home ownership. Obviously, it worked for your dad and for your mom after died. But you're equally correct that in today's economy home ownership is like rolling the dice, a gamble more people are unwilling to take and those who did now wish they hadn't.

    As for that park bench, when I moved 300 miles south last year I had to find a new one! Actually I have a choice of several, one being right on Main Street under a curbside tree, and another in a pocket park across from the public library. Watching the world go by is not the same as watching ducks frolic in a park pond, but definitely every bit as entertaining! You're welcome to join me any time! ;D

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Funny...a widowed friend just a few days ago was bemoaning the expenses on the upkeep of her home. Wondering what to do... Think I'll send this hub to her mailbox for consideration.

  • Cheryl J. profile image

    Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

    Great hub and valuable information on renting. I am a homeowner and I am seriously contemplating getting a townhome or a nice loft. Love your suggestions. Thanks again for sharing your nice hub.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Peggy, normally I would say "Tell your friend to sell ASAP!". But if the housing market where she lives is depressed like everywhere else right now, that's probably not a good or even viable option. In that case, she should look into getting a reverse mortgage so she has some money coming IN to defray some of the expenses of upkeep.

    Cheryl, I can't emphasize enough the advantages of renting over ownership. The biggest problem for you, though, will be selling your present home unless you are prepared to become a landlord and rent it out so you won't be paying rent on a condo AND the mortgage (if you have one) on a hard-to-sell home. Good luck! ;D

  • profile image

    lucylu 5 years ago

    Absolutely love this hub! My co-worker was just telling me today that she wish she was renting because her home has caused her nothing but headaches with all the repairs that have been done. That just confirmed for me that I will continue to rent and be stress free....and happy!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, lucylu! In the current economy, unless the mortgage on your home is paid off and your sole income isn't from a job you might very well lose tomorrow, it makes NO sense to be a home "owner". Your happiness as a renter vs. your co-worker's headaches from maintaining the structure she calls "home" is a perfect example of why renting no longer carries the stigma it once did.

    Also, if/when you want to move, you aren't stuck with a house you can't can just GO! To me, that freedom is far more precious than the "joys" of "owning" a home. ;D

  • Ashleymckinnon profile image

    Ashleymckinnon 5 years ago from Coleman, WI

    These are my thoughts exactly. I love the freedom to be able to move when I want to (provided the end of a lease) without having to worry about the strength of the economy and whether or not my home will sell at all.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Good for you, Ashley, for being smart enough that "owning" a home is like having a huge rock around one's neck. The home of a widowed friend who recently moved into a retirement home has been on the market since last summer. The house and yard are in pristine condition, the price is appropriate, a house that would've been snapped up in only days a few years ago. She's had several serious prospective buyers who really (really!) want the house (and aren't quibbling about the price), but can't make a formal offer until their own homes sell. The "domino effect" in reverse: "I can't buy your house until someone buys mine", meaning everyone down the line is dependent on someone else for a sale.

  • Mighty Mom profile image

    Susan Reid 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA


    Your hub should have been required reading for everyone who bought the American Dream lie. And I don't just mean those who suckered themselves (both sides deserve blame) into sub-prime loans.

    Real estate at one point was a growth investment.

    ALL of that changed with the mortgage bubble burst and the economy tanking.

    If the mortgage tax break goes away there will be NO incentive whatsoever to own.

    I just love your description of where and how you live. And how smart are you to keep your options open. You can pick up and relocate on a dime -- instead of hundreds of thousands of dollars!

    Excellent, persuasive hub.


  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thank you, MM! I don't live in that particular complex anymore - I moved to a different state last year - but WAS lucky enough to get into a duplex in a complex that has many of the amenities of my former home. During the first month, the sewer backed up, requiring several trips from a plumbing contractor to pinpoint the blockage (a tree root out by the curb). My cost: ZERO. Same for the new roof this past summer. And just like in my old abode, the maintenance guy comes around every few months to change the heater/AC filter. A lawn crew mows and trims bushes, and my neighbor in the other half takes care of the flower beds on my side.

    Even better, NO lease, just month-to-month, so IF I ever move, it's only a matter of loading a U-Haul (after thoroughly cleaning the unit, of course), and I'm gone. Done. No waiting around for a buyer like a friend is having to do now.

  • Daughter Of Maat profile image

    Melissa Flagg 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

    This was great, we rent our house which has a rather large grassy yard. Unfortunately, we have to mow it. But I love renting our house. The only problem we had with it, was when the landlord tried to sell it while we were in it. But we have a lake view, lots of land for the dog, and none of the expenses or problems except mowing the yard. Hubby does that... lol

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    DOM, sounds like you have the best of both worlds: a house with a large yard, land for the dog, and mowing the lawn is the only maintenance required...and your Hubby does that! I'm guessing the house wasn't sold, right? I once rented a house owned by a couple who declared bankruptcy and I was forced to move. Not a fun time. (The house sat empty for another 6 months before being sold at auction, in much worse shape than it would've been in had I been allowed to remain for most of that time...) Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed it! ;D

  • MelChi profile image

    Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

    I really enjoyed reading this blog. My husband and I are currently considering buying a house at the end of the year - depending on how things go, but after reading your blog, I think I'll share this with him as well! Thanks - you raised some really good points! :)

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, MelChi! I'm not *totally* against owning a home IF one has the means to actually own it from the outset, rather than being an on-site caretaker for the financial institution that really owns it until the last mortgage payment is made.

    If you and your husband DO decide to buy, at least you're now aware of the downside of "ownership"! ;D

  • profile image

    onlooker 5 years ago

    How insightful! You clearly know what you're doing and i most definitely respect that.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Sheez, I just looked at the number of followers you have and you more than double me and I've written over 100 hubs. What is wrong with this picture I ask myself? Maybe your hubs are better??? Mmmm? As for this hub, I applaud you and by extension applaud me. I haven't owned a home for ten years now after owning twenty before that...that's right, I said twenty! I have zero desire to own at this point and as you said I love the freedom that renting gives me. Loved this hub, love your attitude and jealous about your vast following. :) Take care my friend and enjoy the hell out of life tonight!

  • Daughter Of Maat profile image

    Melissa Flagg 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

    @JamaGenee the house didn't sell and they took it off the market. But I'm still afraid they'll put it back up for sale! I love our home, and we hope to one day buy it. We're keeping our fingers crossed, I'm hoping with my writing I can make enough to save for a down payment. :D

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    @Daughter of Maat: Great! I see the house NOT selling as an omen. A good one! I'll keep my fingers crossed too! ;D

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Longevity, Bill. Longevity AND "ever green" hubs. It has NOTHING to do with the number of hubs you've written in the short time you've been here. Don't be alarmed - new hubbers rarely rack up hundreds of followers in the first few months.

    I will say, though, from what I've seen, you're doing everything "right". Your hubs are GREAT, your followers are "pimping" them here and there, and from subject matter and keywords, you're probably getting a lot of traffic from the search engines. So just hand in there, keep doing what you're doing. Being from Iowa you'll understand "Build it and they will come", but even in the movie "they" didn't arrive in droves overnight!

    Patience, my friend! ;D

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    You do have a point. Several, in fact. I have never thought of renting instead of buying quite in the manner you presented. I think if I had it to do over again and it was just me I would probably rent. I hate doing repairs and outdoor work. Up and amazing.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    KK Gals, thanks! Renting is definitely the best option if it's just you and you hate doing repairs or outdoor work.

    Waiting for the page to finish loading so I could read your comment, I re-read Lynn's from 2 years ago. I'd forgotten the ton of paperwork involved in house-buying, most of which has to be signed or initialed in a dozen places, some in triplicate. That alone should be a red flag to potential buyers.

    Call me weird, but IMHO an event touted as a "wonderful and patriotic thing" shouldn't require killing a good portion of one tree to produce the paper necessary to seal the deal...

  • Gerg profile image

    Gerg 5 years ago from California

    Thanks for offering a fresh perspective on this, JamaGenee - I unintentionally became a renter rather than homeowner, but I've had the same thought processes since, especially over the last few years as housing prices have tanked. Unless you're increasing in equity, there's unfortunately little incentive to want to "invest" in housing...

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Gerg, with all the horror stories of people being "underwater" on their mortgages (and the stress that comes with that) and unemployment causing fewer people to be able to qualify for mortgages, I'm at a loss to explain why developers are still building tracts of new homes like it was 1999!

    Even though you became a renter "unintentionally", glad to know you came to see renting as a blessing and not a step down to second-class citizenship. Unless, as you said, your home is increasing in equity, and unless one can afford the maintenance and repairs *on top of* the mortgage payment, "owning" a home should not be called an "investment". And at the risk of sounding like a snob, renters should no longer be considered "second class citizens" because they can't "afford" to "own" or don't qualify for a mortgage. In today's market, renters are possibly the only segment of the 99% who have money left over each payday for non-necessities. ;D

  • Sparrowlet profile image

    Katharine L Sparrow 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Nice perspective, I really don't blame you. I own my home, but it's mortgage-free, at this point. There are still taxes and home insurance costs, but my ex acts as my free landscaper! He just loves to maintain lawn and shrubs, etc, and he is also a pretty good handyman. Yes, I've had to replace a water heater and a furnace, and those were not cheap! I've often thought I might like to buy a townhouse condo, which would be the best of both worlds... home ownership with grounds maintenance, etc. Personally, I like knowing that this little piece of the planet is mine, but I do see your point.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Sparrowlet, your situation is certainly the exception to the downside of home ownership! No mortgage and a free gardener and handyman definitely balances out the expense of taxes and new water heaters and furnaces, which granted aren't cheap, but at least you aren't having to pay for them on top of a mortgage. In your case, that little piece of the planet IS yours. I can't imagine why you'd want to trade it for a condo. Sounds like you already have the best of both worlds. ;D

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 5 years ago from America

    There is never ending problems with buying a house. I think the reason we never wanted to rent again when we rented in California there were never ending problems in the apartment we lived in. We didn't have problems with the apartment, but with the manager and some people around us.

    Sounds like you have the prefect place. Voted up.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    moonlake, I've lived in my share of those places! Not only apartments, but rental houses, too. That's why it's important to trust your instincts before you sign a lease or hand over the first month's rent-plus-deposit. If anything about the place or the landlord doesn't feel "right" even then, it probably isn't! ;D

  • gabgirl12 profile image

    gabgirl12 5 years ago

    I've always rented as well. I would get told I was being lazy, but I'm realistic. And in the last few years because of the tight economy, I have heard of so many people who have had to deal with 'foreclosure'. After I became unemployed for a few months the renters insurance I had purchased took care of much of my rent of which I am thankful.

    Renting is 'sensible' to me. And even with the small maintenance issues you've had over your 9 year tenure (Perhaps more? Are you still residing there?) the bottom line is that it was at no cost to you. Another thing with renting to consider is you will more than likely have a chance at finding an apartment that is 'brand new' and cost effective than a house.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    gabgirl12, I'm THRILLED to be a renter in the present economy! Even when it was humming along, there was absolutely nothing "lazy" about being SENSIBLE with money...or selfish about your leisure time! It would scare me to death to have the specter of foreclosure looming now! Especially when people who are current on their mortgage payments are being evicted almost as often as those who aren't.

    No, I don't live in the same place as when I wrote the hub, but I am still renting. A cute little duplex surrounded by lots of grass (which I don't have to mow) and a new roof I didn't have to pay for. And when the sewer line backed up last year, I didn't have to pay for the pros to come out and dig up the yard to cut out the tree root that caused the back up. Life in Rentersville is GREAT!

    Would be even better, though, if nearby neighborhoods weren't peppered with "Foreclosure" signs. Not because they're eyesores - which they aren't - but because each one means a family's life is being turned upside down in ways they never imagined when they moved into "their" new home.

    And you're so right about more opportunities to move into a brand new (or a well-maintained older) apartment that's more cost effective than a house. When the housing bubble burst, I was afraid apartments and rentals would become scarce because evicted home "owners" would have no other alternative, but that hasn't been the case (at least where I am).

    Thanks for stopping by! ;D

  • Academicviews profile image

    Academicviews 4 years ago from Scotland

    Just the one or two comments there. I think I may sue you for my repetitive strain injury scrolling down there for ever... joking of course. Great hub. A few years back I would have said you buy because you can sell at twice the price in 5 years. Well, boom thud crunch, that’s come tumbling down. And now well, those you abused our money, those who got a lot of our money, will now not lend us our money so I rent cause I have to.... that is until I meet a nice rich American woman….lol or is that Chinese now… I forgot

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Academicviews, apologies for the repetitive strain injury - LOL! When I wrote this hub, of course, I had NO idea it would generate so many comments, but I can't quite make myself reverse the order of comments from oldest first to newest. Doing so IMHO reduces the opportunity for new visitors to read many worthwhile and insightful comments left by earlier visitors. Also to find like-minded hubbers.

    As for nice rich women, perhaps you should be looking in Germany, which is a LOT closer to you than America or China! Wouldn't be the first time a chap from the British Isles married into a German fortune.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a delightful comment! ;D

  • old albion profile image

    Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

    Hi Jama. Oh what a wonderful hub. We have done both several times over the years. Now in retirement we are renting. We are not worried by the day to day operations of running real estate. We have chosen just what we wanted, a small garden front and back. I do think you are right.

    We in the UK are the same as you in the USA we put great store by ownership, in Europe renting is the norm, they prefer the freedom of renting and two BMWs instead. The only reason to buy is to sell at a profit (hopefully) and to leave some security for your children when you are gone.

    Overall the freedom of renting is better, you can move much easier if you wish and repairs are only a phone call away. A really good hub.

    Voted up / Interesting.


  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Hi, Graham. Thanks for the kudos and insights. A friend who is no longer physically or financially able to keep up with the demands of maintaining a house will become a renter in the not-too-distant future. After the housing market rebounds on this side of the Pond. Which hopefully happens before the place falls down around her and she has to sell at a huge loss.

    As for the Europeans' preference for renting, I have to wonder how much two world wars fought on the soil of many of those countries has to do with that attitude. A topic that would make a great hub, but alas, I'm already swamped with other projects. ;D

  • Doodlehead profile image

    Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

    Fab hub. Could not agree more. I own, but don't live in my place. Gives me and my pup freedom to try to new places. Thanks for the pic of the cute house!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, Doodlehead! I like to try new places, too, so I'm currently in the middle of serious sorting and pitching toward the day I decide to move again. Ah, freedom! Could only be easier if I lived in a decked-out 5th wheel or an RV. ;D

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    This is a great hub. YOu really point out well the downside of "owning" a home. Still, I like having my own place, not having to deal with a landlord. Plus, I've focused on paying extra, sometime 2 or 3 times the mortgage, so I'll have my house paid off in a few years and will save tons of money as I'm still young. That will be freedom to me with no rent nor house payment. I wrote a hub about my experience with owning a home, too. :-) I like your hub, though, and I think that the choice of buying vs renting depends on the person's lifestyle, goals, etc. I enjoyed reading this. Your writing style is wonderful.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Thanks, Victoria Lynn! If memory serves, I read your hub on owning a home, but I'll pop over just to make sure. And a big round of applause to you for having the good sense to make extra payments to get your house paid off faster! Many people don't (or don't know to) do this IF the lender allows it. Some won't, so it's always a good idea to make sure yours does BEFORE signing on the dotted line. Why pay them all that extra interest if you don't have to!

    I'm still a champion of renting, though, and when I moved to a different state after I wrote this hub, was lucky enough to find a place with landlords that don't quibble when things need fixing or replacing. It also happens to be half of a duplex that's (so far..knock on wood...) impervious to earthquakes. A little over a year ago, it came through three tremors that had me nailed to the sofa while they lasted, and the only damage I could find was a tiny crack in the tile in front of the front door. Not even worth submitting a work order. Nothing else moved. The entire unit was winterized and weatherized last fall at no expense to me, but dropped my utility bills by about 50%. Now if they'd only install solar panels on the roof.... ;D

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