Debate: Renting a home is more flexible option than buying one

There are fewer hidden expenses to worry about when renting a home

(Kristen Frier)

Read the other half of this debate here.

While homeownership has its advantages, renting a home is much easier — especially in today’s challenging and changing economic climate. When buying a home, there are many factors that include changing markets, mortgage payments, and additional costs like home maintenance fees, insurance, strata fees, and interest fees.

Buying a home includes a down payment cost, which is about five per cent of the house’s overall value. It can take time, especially in today’s economy, to accumulate enough money to make a down payment on a house and keep up with the long-term mortgage payments afterwards.

Renting a home provides flexibility, which is vital when changing jobs. It is a lot harder to sell a home, whereas if you rent a place, you can easily move out and find another.

If you find that you can no longer afford your rental fees, you can easily look for another home that is cheaper. However, if you own a home, you would have to sell it or find a trustworthy person to rent it out to, which can take a lot of time and change your house’s value as well — depending on when you choose to sell it.  You would need to make sure you sell your house at the right time to get the full value of your house.

If you are someone who enjoys travel and isn’t in one place at any time, renting a home is a better option. If you bought a home, you would not be able to leave as easily. You would have to sell each time you wanted to move. Renting solves those problems since you would not be concerned with market values and can choose to rent a house in a different location, depending on how often you travel.

While buying allows you to customize your home through renovations (something you wouldn’t be allowed to do if you are renting), it comes with additional costs. For example, if your sink breaks down completely, you would have to buy a new one out of pocket. Whereas if you’re renting, you would ask your landlord to replace the sink instead at little to no cost.

Depending on what kind of home you choose to buy in British Columbia, strata fees can take up an additional part of your budget that could have gone into savings or anything else. The fees that can accumulate when buying a home are expensive, making it much harder to save money in the long run.

Renting a home enables you to have a fixed amount to pay every month. Usually, rent increases happen once a year or so in B.C., depending on the type of house and your landlord, which makes it easier to save your money and invest in a savings account, which can ensure long-term financial stability.