The common sales pitch of the real estate seller is “why rent when you can buy.” For all practical intents and purposes, there are indeed situations where renting is the wiser choice. Perhaps the Germans know something we don’t, being one of the few developed countries where almost half of the homes are rented and not owned.
In the Philippine context, being cash strapped might be a common reason to rent, though almost all prefer to own their homes. But there are indeed other reasons for renting even if you have the cash. Here are some of them:
1. Have no debt
Compared to the buying counterparts, renters are debt free when it comes to housing. No debt worries for the next 15 to 30 years. Wouldn’t that be bliss?
2. Lower monthly cash out
Well, you may be technically debt free, but you still do need to pay for rent. No worries. Monthly rentals are way cheaper than monthly amortizations, in big part because monthly amortizations carry with them high interest rates.
3. Better protection against risks of interest rate fluctuations over time
Especially up to a certain bracket, rental rate increases are capped annually by law from excessive rent increases, whereas your monthly amortization for your residential purchase are subject to risks borne out of bank interest rate fluctuations or economic woes.
4. Minimal maintenance
Paying for house maintenance on top of your monthly dues to the bank? Rent instead and pass on the maintenance cost to the owner, especially for major problems like damaged roofs and crumbling walls.
5. No fear of major damage
With the onset of climate change and the high risk of excessive damages brought about by weather disturbances, renters have the advantage of simply moving to another place if their rented pad becomes badly affected.
6. Move when you want, live where you want
Be as mobile as you want. Perhaps your job requires it. Perhaps your restless soul can’t sit still. Or perhaps there are people you want to avoid, like government, lenders, or obnoxious neighbors. Whatever the reason, renting allows you to pack up and leave more easily and not be as geographically constrained.
Freedom! Freedom from debt, from unexpected expenses, from market fluctuations, etc. That is the mantra of the persistent renter. Home is where the heart is. People make a home, owned or rented. So why buy when you can rent?