Shelter is one of the primary needs in life. Certainly, it is acknowledged by Abraham Maslow as a physiological need, which plays a huge role in motivating a person’s behavior. Inferring from this, housing is one of the essential aspects that defines the life of an individual. It helps one to lead a motivated life. The choice between renting an apartment and buying a house is one of the chief decisions that have to be made. The present study seeks to compare and contrast the two alternatives, based on a set of elements related to the topic. Renting an apartment is the most ideal decision since it offers a greater flexibility, involves lower monthly costs, and engages lesser financial obligations.
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As compared to buying a home, renting an apartment provides a person with a greater flexibility. If a person secures a job several miles away from the current area of residence, he/she will only be required to terminate the existing tenancy contract and find another apartment closer to the place of work. However, for a homeowner, mobility becomes an issue. Immobility gives rise to added expenses. For instance, a homeowner will have to commute from his/her house to the place of work.
Therefore, unlike a renting counterpart, a homeowner will incur additional transport costs. Additionally, an increase in family size spells further flexibility challenges on a homeowner as opposed to a person renter. During the life of a person, a time usually comes when one gets a family, which gradually increases in size as time come to pass. According to Cohen, Lindblad, Paik and Quercia (2009), any increase in family size has to be accompanied by changes in the house setting or size.
For instance, as more children are born in a household, more space is required. For a tenant, this might not be a challenge considering that he/she will only have to seek a bigger apartment. Such an option is not available to a homeowner. Instead, he/she is required to make dilemmatic choices of freeing up more space, which is never enough. Even in the housing industry, fashion is a chief characteristic. New technologies are emerging and so are new housing designs. A tenant can always seek to rent an apartment with a newer design. In stark contrast, a homeowner will have to stay in a house built with an obsolete design for most of his/her life. Therefore, based on flexibility, choosing to rent an apartment is more ideal than buying a home.
As compared to home ownership, tenancy involves relatively low monthly costs. According to Esswein (2010), tenancy engrosses limited general expenses. Indeed, the rent charges, garbage collection fees, and energy costs are all what a tenant is required to meet each month. While this is the case, buying or owning a house gives rise to a host of other major costs. Besides garbage collection and energy consumption costs, a homeowner has to meet monthly fees imposed by the local government on each standing building, property taxes, and insurance premiums. The case is even worse where a person decides to buy a house using mortgage.
As such, he/she has to finance the mortgage using various means such as through bank and insurance. Analyzing this context, Hillary (2014) indicated that in the long run, there is a possibility of paying more than it would have been if one opted to purchase a property without involving a mortgage. With renting an apartment, such unnecessary costs or overcharges cannot emerge. In the light of this, tenancy is more recommendable than buying a house.
The choice between buying a house and renting an apartment is a decision that results into obligation of finances. For each option, personal finances must be obligated (Hillary, 2014). However, the extent to which a homeowner obligates his/her finances is extensive in relation to a renter. A homeowner, as it has been described previously, has to meet a host of costs ranging from legal fees to maintenance costs. Therefore, with the same level of finances, the ability to save is considerably low due to the several financial obligations. Consequently, a homeowner is likely to live a more constrained life as opposed to a renter.
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Indeed, given the extensive use of financial resources arising out of property-owning obligations, it would be common to find a homeowner being unable to meet dynamic life demands such as emergencies (Hillary, 2014). Different from this, given that a renter has more to save and less to use, meeting the cost of unforeseeable demands is often not an issue. Therefore, a lesser degree of financial obligations renders the option of renting an apartment as the most feasible.
Buying a house or renting an apartment is a very interesting topic and a major source of debate. As it has been determined, renting an apartment appears to be sounder as compared to buying a house. This is especially so considering that renting an apartment provides greater flexibility, engages lower monthly costs, and involves lesser financial obligations. However, for a person in a dilemma on whether to buy or rent, it would be necessary to focus on both sides of the debate to make an informed decision.
Cohen, T. R., Lindblad, M. R., Paik, J. G., & Quercia, R. G. (2009). Renting to owning: An exploration of the theory of planned behavior in the homeownership domain. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 31(4), 376-389.
Esswein, P. M. (2010). Should You Buy or Rent? Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 64(4), 73-74.
Hillary, D. (2014). Mobility, flexibility and convenience have more renting. Inside Tucson Business, 24(4), 1-15.