The Age-Old Question of Renting vs. Owning

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

There is nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning to have a visit from your land lady telling you that she is selling your house, and you have sixty days to find another place to live. This news left me feeling utterly powerless and more stressed out than I already was at the time. The idea of having to go through the motions of researching other places to rent and then going to see them in order to determine which place would be most fitting for my family is such a hassle. All the trouble this has caused got me thinking of the age-old question, is renting better than owning a house?
As we go through the different stages of our life we have different needs and financial standings that allow us to better secure a home. As fledglings ready to leave the nest we are by no means ready for the responsibility of owning much, so renting a room or apartment seems to fit the bill. As we grow up and turn into society’s definition of adults we begin to have the urge to settle down. Our financial situations become more stable, and we are then ready to think of purchasing a home and settling down in a permanent spot. Sometimes owning a home can be such a hassle that people prefer to rent, putting the responsibilities of the home on someone else.
My husband and I are one of the many that have owned a home and know the burden of taking care of it ourselves. However, due to economic instability a few years back we lost our home to foreclosure. Unable to obtain another loan until we repaired our credit, we were forced to rent in order to provide a roof over our heads. For us, that proved to be both a blessing and a curse. Once bitten, twice shy, my husband was not eager to purchase a home once his credit was repaired. He did not want to once again find himself in the same situation he had been in before. I believe it has something to do with his male ego and proving he could provide for his family. I on the other hand longed to have a permanent place to live. I was tired of “depending on the kindness of strangers” in order to have a roof over my head.
Once we got the news from our landlady, we immediately began researching the new possibilities for places to live. I looked at all the places to rent and weeded out all the undesirable ones when I stumbled upon a rent to own situation. This seemed to be the best of both worlds. You get to rent the property for several years, paying a set monthly rent and then if you want to purchase you can. During the rental phase someone else is responsible for all the repairs should anything go wrong, then when you finally purchase the property the responsibility shifts to the homeowner. So is owning really better than renting? Well, to be honest I’m not quite sure. They both have their upsides and their downsides. I guess it’s just a matter of situation and interpretation. I will let you decide.

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