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Getting on the property ladder isn’t easy. House prices are rising, deposits are hard to save up for and unless you’re living at home with your parents, you’ve got rent payments to juggle in the meantime. It doesn’t help that everywhere you turn, people are telling you that renting is ‘dead money’, and you need to buy a property in order to be financially stable. But is that actually true?
The number of people in their mid-30s and 40s who rent their homes has soared three-fold in the past 20 years. It’s becoming the norm, so perhaps we start looking at renting in a different way…
Freedom and flexibility
For many, the lifestyle of renting is the perfect option. It offers freedom and flexibility to move around and figure things out. You’re paying for a housing service, and what’s wrong with that? Whilst we’re young (yes, your 30’s is most definitely still young), we’re still discovering where we want to be and what we want to do.
Alongside this, a lot changes in this period of our lives. Perhaps we’re still trying to find the right person to settle down with, still trying to find the right job, still dealing with some financial stress… Does everyone really want to be tied down with a mortgage at this time in their lives? It can limit your options when figuring out life.
If you’re unable to buy a house – or you simply don’t plan to – then you might want to consider investing your money elsewhere for long-term financial security. Property is not the only option. The housing market isn’t always stable anyway, and you can lose equity.
Why not explore something like shares and bonds instead? It’s a little more work and requires research, but you can maintain a lot more financial control and freedom. The point is, open your eyes to other avenues you can explore for saving money.
Renting is of course a responsibility – but not as much as owning a home. You’ll never be left with the issue of not being able to sell a property on, you won’t have stamp duty land tax and solicitors fees to pay, and if the roof falls in or the shower begins to leak, it’s your landlord’s problem to fix and pay for. A good landlord will have landlord insurance in place to keep on top of any unforeseen issues.
Similarly, a lot of rented properties come partly furnished, and you may have your white goods supplied. Again, this can be a huge plus point for people after a more simple way of living. Firstly, it’s something you don’t have to pay for and secondly, you don’t find yourself owning truckloads of furniture to try and manoeuvre to your next property.
Both these responsibilities are a huge weight off your mind when you’re perhaps in the midst of your career or dealing with big life changes. For some people, all they dream of is owning bricks and mortar – and that’s fine. But that is not a priority for everyone – and that’s also fine.
So let’s stop making people who are renting in their 30s feel like they are failing. Renting can be a great stepping stone between living at the family home and owning your own property, however it can also be a viable lifestyle choice for the foreseeable future. And although long-term financial stability is important, property is not the only way to achieve this.