On this episode of 2 Frugal Dudes, we’ll be talking about life as a renter based on Sean’s own experience making the change from homeowner.
Sean’s Renting Experience
Sean has been renting for about three years as a part of his family’s FIRE goals. Renting has offered a lot more opportunity in terms of flexibility to move and other cost of living expenses. There are amenities included that benefit the family, like a pool. This has created a great platform to meet other people and Sean estimates that only a quarter of the inhabitants use the amenities, so sharing isn’t really a problem.
The biggest challenge for renting– in an apartment complex at least– is living in a building with other people. With people constantly coming and going and the feeling of a lack of privacy, it can be hard to carve out space.
One thing Sean has noticed is that the apartment complex lacks families, whereas there are a lot of retirees and single young professionals.
Do You Save Money Buying?
In Sean’s experience, they’ve saved more money as renters than they were ever able to as a family in a home. The smaller space does contribute, but so does the area that they’re living in. Additionally, if maintenance issues arise, Sean doesn’t have to pay for it. Other things that aren’t being paid for include property taxes and extra insurance.
Even little things that Sean hadn’t considered before were adding up. Things like lawn care start to add up over time, both in terms of monetary investment and opportunity cost.
The Road Ahead
There is no black and white answer to whether buying or renting is better. It depends on your family size, needs, home size, etc. For Sean and his family, renting gave them the time they needed to determine that they want to buy a home in Gulf Shores, even though it will be more expensive.
Where Our Money Went
Kevin did his taxes and was happy to find out that he had a refund. Then something went wrong and he discovered that he had missed a payment during the previous year and had underpaid in 2018. So, easy come, easy go, the refund went back to the government.
Sean and his family took a trip to see where they might want to live next. Right now the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores are holding strong for the ideal place to stay.
Disclaimer: Kevin and Sean are not professional financial advisors. Do not take any advice they give without first speaking with a professional and performing your own due diligence.