Renting vs buying: which side are you on?
8 Aug 2014 8:28 AM
Posted by hh's Olivia Mackinnon
In a time when property prices are skyrocketing, is it worth obtaining a mortgage or simply paying as you go?
Renting vs buying. It’s the big debate when it comes to the property market, especially if you live in a highly populated or sought-after area. Two girls in the homeheaven team share their points of view and after reading these responses, you may change your mind about your preferred position on the property ladder.
hh’s Olivia supports: buying
Olivia’s current living situation: renting in a share house with three other people in Sydney’s Inner West.
When it comes to growing up, it’s hard to know in which order you should do things to set yourself up for a successful life. Everyone knows that saving money is great, but when it comes to investing it, well, they just don’t teach you that at school, unfortunately.
With my dad being a real estate agent, I’ve always been taught that property is a great place to invest your money – especially if you live in a city as coveted as Sydney. The fact of the matter is, no matter where you buy, you’re bound to make money over a 5-10 year period. Suburbs that were considered rough and unprofitable 10 years ago are now highly competitive and expensive to live in such as Surry Hills and Woolloomoolooo.
It’s also nice to have a little bit of security, knowing that you don’t have to up and move at the drop of a hat when your landlord decides he’s selling the house, or wants to up the rent to a ridiculous amount. Sure, there are other costs that aren’t covered by an owner and you have an element of responsibility, but it also means you have an asset and when it comes to your future, that means more than anything to me.
Though I haven’t actually taken the plunge as yet, my dad’s wise words have always stuck in my mind – and investing in property and owning my own home is definitely what I intend to do.
hh’s Kate supports: renting
Kate’s current living situation: UK-born, Kate is living alone in a studio apartment in the heart of Sydney’s Surry Hills.
I often get ants in my pants. I thrive on new experiences, enjoy the excitement that comes with change and also love exploring new towns, areas and even countries! Renting enables me to satisfy all the above.
I rented with two girlfriends in my early 20s and we hopped around London suburbs like bunnies without a care in the world, soaking up everything the area had to offer before packing up our belongings and moving onto our next adventure the following year. The world was our oyster and we relished in it.
The itch for adventure soon took us further afield when, one rainy day, we decided to venture to this side of the pond. Friends looked on a little enviously at us making such a big move at short notice, as they found themselves tied to their properties (and current lives). To them travel seemed like a distant dream as they tackled the constant struggle to pay off their over-ambitious mortgages.
Fast forward five years, and I'm currently living in my own flat in the heart of Surry Hills. I'm in the hustle of Crown Street which is lined with endless restaurants and bars, the city is a mere 20 minute stroll away, and I can practically smell the sea air of some of Sydney's best beaches from my windows. This is a postcode I would definitely not be able to afford to live in had I bought.
Renting provides you with flexibility and freedom to live in the best possible areas and more importantly experience new areas whenever the mood tickles you.
I do occasionally have a pang of regret for not jumping on that property ladder back in my youth, but then I think about all the great experiences I've had, all the travel I've done, the adventures embarked on* and the fact that every day I wake up and want to be exactly where I am - otherwise I'd simply pack up and move on!
* Not to mention a landlord at the end of a phone who will pop over to fix a broken appliance at the drop of a hat!
So after reading this, where do you sit; renting or buying?