Why it’s better to rent a house than buy

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Buying a home is a risky affair. Photo/FILE

Renting vs buying debate always evokes heated argument with supporters on both sides of the buy vs rent discussion trying to outdo one another.

Those in support of buying usually argue that paying rent is like throwing away cash that could be saved in acquiring a home.

Why would you rent, if renting is throwing away money?

1.) Renting actually saves money. In most cases rental costs are lower than monthly mortgage repayments. But even if the two are comparable – you could pay more to rent a larger home. Furthermore,  you do not worry about land rates and maintenance costs. If a pipe bursts, for example, you just need to call your landlord.

2.) Less worry. Owning a home is a risky affair. The greatest risk is a market crash or a housing bubble burst. As a renter you have nothing to worry about falling house prices (unless they slide so much that renting becomes more expensive than home ownership – if it gets to that point you may consider buying).

There is also the risk specific to the area you buy a house in. An estate can suddenly becomes a hotspot for thieves and rapists, or it can become prone to flooding.

In such a scenario, renters can quickly move out of the area and seek accommodation elsewhere. Unfortunately, home-owners do not have the luxury to do so.

3.) Freedom. Buying a house ties you down. You cannot move easily from one estate to another. On the other hand, renting allows you to move easily when you plan on relocating. If a home-owner finds it necessary to move out, he may have to sell the house – which can be quite frustrating.

4.) Get into upmarket areas. Areas such as Muthaiga, Runda and Gigiri in Nairobi come with nice but expensive houses. Renting allows you to live in such neighbourhoods for a fraction of the home-ownership costs.

5.) No loans. A majority of individuals who buy homes require some sort of financing, which usually comes in the form of loans. Financing sometimes comes with exorbitant interest rates that can easily defeat the goal of home-ownership. Renters do not have to worry about financing.

Above are some of the many reasons why renting is better than buying. However, it is important to carefully consider your goals as well as your financial situation before deciding whether you should rent or buy.

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