It feels harder than ever to take that first step onto the property ladder. House prices are painfully high in many areas, incomes are stagnating, and mortgage lenders are clammed up.
But is buying a home always superior to renting one?
Our society is one that prioritises home ownership and has done for years. The Thatcherite vision of a property-owning democracy really took hold.
It’s now an accepted norm that young people should aspire to owning their own homes. Yet, on the continent, renting is much more normal.
Perhaps we’re missing a trick in Britain. Here are five reasons why renting is better than buying.
You have no mortgage debt
When you take on a mortgage, you are making the biggest financial commitment of your life. You owe a bank hundreds of thousands of pounds and can’t miss repayments or there are serious consequences.
It’s stressful, limiting, and a big responsibility to shoulder for the best part of three decades.
Renters, however, are under no such debt burden. They’re not shackled to an enormous pile of debt, which is liberating.
There’s a lot of flexibility
Buying and selling a home is a complex, length, and expensive process. Renting is far simpler, which means you can up sticks and move more often, and quicker too. It’s also much easier to relocate to a different city or even country if you’re a renter.
You have a greater choice of homes
When buying a home, you’re pretty limited to what you can afford as a purchase, which, given the price of property these days, might not be all that much.
But renting is more affordable. You’re money will go further, giving you a wider range of property you could call home. More choice makes it likelier you’ll end up living somewhere you really love.
The locations are better
Particularly somewhere like London, renters can afford to live more centrally than buyers, or closer to train stations, for example.
Again, renting is more affordable than purchasing, which means your location options are probably much better as a renter.
You’ll end up closer to work and all the action for things like eating out, clubbing, and so on.
More amenities, less responsibility
Many rental properties come with a range of amenities, which the landlords take responsibility for, such as white goods, showers, and so on.
That’s one less headache for you than for a buyer, who has to take responsibility for purchasing and maintaining all the amenities they need, which isn’t cheap.
What’s more, many modern rental developments come with a host of life-enhancing luxury amenities, such as gyms and swimming pools, which you might not be able to afford as a homebuyer.