Summing Up the Rent vs. Buy Equation
American Dream Series: Part 5 of 5
This is the last post in our series on the American Dream. We’ve posed the question, “Is owning a home your American Dream?” and we’ve given you some food for thought to help answer that question:
- Will homeownership be too expensive? If homeownership will absorb all of your savings or income, think twice before trading your future financial stability for a home.
- Will homeownership give you less freedom and mobility than you need? If you want the option to move for better employment or to explore a new city, then renting will give you that flexibility.
- Will homeownership be a bigger responsibility than you’d like? If you don’t have the time or energy to properly care for your home or don’t have the finances to outsource maintenance, then renting may suit you better.
- Will homeownership compromise your lifestyle? If you are committed to a lifestyle that requires disposable income or anchors you to a community in which you cannot afford to buy, then renting may be your best option.
Home ownership can be wonderful when it allows you to meet you short-term and long-term financial goals, while still celebrating your most important lifestyle choices. If the answers to the above questions don’t add up to buying a home, but you still have the urge to own your abode, consider why that might be.
As Americans, it’s been drilled into our collective unconscious that renting makes you a second-class citizen, that renting is a temporary state until you can “move up” in the world by buying a home, that you are not really a grown-up if you rent. Maybe it’s time to realize that pursuing your personal dreams is more sacred than the structure in which you pursue them.
If you have determined that renting makes more sense for you than homeownership, we hope you will embrace the freedom and flexibility that comes along with renting. In the end, renting just might be as much a part of your American Dream as homeownership.