Renting vs Buying

This topic is subject to much debate. There are pros and cons to both renting or owning a house, and one or the other often works better for certain stages of life. I have lived in all sorts of scenarios. I've lived at home (obviously), I've lived in a monastery, I've lived in a dorm room, I've rented two houses, I've bought one house . . . pretty much every kind of living there is. Of all of them, I miss dorm life the least and home life the most, but the most practical for me has been owning a home.

While renting, you often cannot change a lot of your environment, or if you do (such as painting or gardening) it is ultimately benefiting your landlord more than you because your time there usually will have a cap on it. You are paying for lodgings that you will never own and investing in a place that is temporary. On the other hand, there are a lot of expenses that don't fall into your lap. You don't have to fix or replace major appliances or heating and cooling systems, you don't have to pay for homeowner's insurance, and you don't have to make improvements or updates to your home.

While owning, you will take on all these responsibilities and expenses on your own (or with your family). You call in repairmen, you cut the grass, you have property taxes, a mortgage for some period of time. Yet, you are investing in a future. You (hopefully) will make a return on your home when you sell, you can change anything you want to the place without asking anyone, and can truly call it yours. There's a sense of planting roots and feeling settled with owning that gives a sense of peace that renting doesn't. It is a nice thought not to wonder each year will I continue living in this rental?

So, it's a hard decision which option is more financially sensible. Renting is a fee each month you will never get back; owning has repair fees and taxes you will never get back. As I said, it truly depends on your stage in life and where you see yourself down the line! In the long run, you'll probably be glad to own, but either way you have a place to call home.