The other night I was out for a solo evening walk (a very unusual feeling, I didn’t realize how out of touch I am with myself. I walk all the time but always with my daughter or friend, it’s been a long time since I got out alone). Anyway, on my walk I walked past a new apartment building close to our home that was advertising rental unit available. I couldn’t help but reminisce about our apartment rental days and how nice of a spot this particular building was. I also couldn’t stop myself from dreaming about selling our home and renting again. Yup, I said it. At this stage in our lives, sometimes I would rather sell our home and become renters again than be homeowners.
There is a lot I love about being a homeowner, but home-ownership isn’t always what it’s made out to be, especially if becoming debt free is a big goal.
When we were renting we had very limited utilities. In utilities alone, we have an increase of about $250 per month with homeownership. We also now have stuff like property tax and general home maintenance to pay for. I figure being a homeowner costs us about $500 more per month than renting, even if we were to get a larger apartment than we had given that we now have a child and need for more space.
General home maintenance is time consuming and expensive. Some of it, like gardening, is enjoyable for me, but it still consumes my time that I could gladly fill with other stuff. I miss the days of being able to call the landlord and getting them to fix whatever the problem was. I can see how condos may be appealing. I certainly don’t want to spend the required money for our new front door and new bathroom taps, but we don’t have choice since we’ve decided to make this our home we need to pay the price.
Extra Money Designation
Logic would say if you’re trying to get out of debt, any extra money, such as a tax return or in my case freelance income, should go towards said debt, but when you’re a homeowner sometimes you just can’t. This week one of the taps in our bathroom broke and we need to now replace it. An expense we didn’t want to have to spend. I’ve already mentioned our tax return will likely be going towards a heat pump as well. This is extra money that, had we been renting would have been able to go towards debt no questions asked.
Like I said, I love being a homeowner for the most part, but if it was feasible I would sell our home and rent again until we’re debt free and saved a large (20%+) downpayment for our next home. This is a pipe dream for many reasons but it’s another reminder where I wish we hadn’t rushed into homeownership so hastily sometimes. Live and learn.
Do you rent or own? What do you love or hate about it?