Renting versus Owning

Which is more minimalist?

I’d say renting because:

  • No paint or decorations to buy that you cannot remove/take down
  • You are not going to start buying large, bulky pieces of furniture
  • You try to make as much space as possible by owning less & purging
  • You keep your stuff to a minimum so that when/if you move and rent something smaller, you won’t be overwhelmed with clutter
  • Pay less overall*

*depending on where you live. In some places, like smaller cities or towns, buying a home is far cheaper in the long run.

As for which one holds more savings, you’d have to do the math.

Sometimes it’s cheaper to rent in a nice area than to buy a property there.

Home ownership has a couple of great pros, namely:

  • You get your own place to do what you’d like in, when you’d like
  • You can renovate and really make the place your own
  • You won’t need to schlep down to the laundry room any longer
  • Tax deductions if you are one of the lucky ones
  • A permanent place to call your own with a permanent address (!!)
  • If done right, you could re-sell it at a hefty profit after taxes & fees
  • You are a home OWNER!

Renting has more pros in my opinion:

  • No property taxes paid
  • No mortgage insurance problems (your rent = what you pay)
  • No hassle with moving — you hate the area? Leave. Want to pay less? Leave.
  • You can usually get all utilities included
  • No maintenance required on your part (3%-of-your-home’s-value saved in a fund each year is recommended for just in case you need to tap into the fund immediately!)

When I rent, I can take the difference I’d otherwise pay in a mortgage + utilities + maintenance, and save or invest it.

Where I live for about $384.50/month with all utilities included, a typical mortgage for a cheapish house at around $300,000 is $1600/month.

Let’s assume BF would pay the other half, so $1600 / 2 = $800 each.

$800 – $384.50 = $415.50 saved

… not to mention the savings in maintenance costs & utilities.

Naturally, I am considered quite lucky by many, because it’s pretty darn cheap for rent here since I pay 50% of it.

But I am also living in a tiny studio, with as little stuff as possible, and willing to do it.

Some people aren’t.

My entire family hates renting for example, and they’re willing to pay the price.

They think BF and I are weirdos (or too poor/cheap! haha) to buy a home.

*shrug* It’s a choice, and I’m glad I have the option instead of lusting after a home and not being able to afford it.

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.