The Ugly Truth About Renting
You know what I hear all the time? “I could never afford to buy a house! I’ll be renting forever!” If this is you, you might be surprised to learn that owning your own home is comparable (or maybe even a little less expensive) than renting. So, if you think you’re making a better financial choice by paying your landlord’s mortgage instead of your own, it’s time you take a look at (DUN DUN DUNNN) the REAL costs of renting.
When you fill out a rental application, the property will charge you a fee of $35-$75 per person. The landlord wants to make sure you’re serious about the place and run a background check. If you’re applying to multiple places, these fees really add up. (Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is free, just sayin.’)
A security deposit can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to an entire month’s rent, due up front when you sign your lease. This money is usually refundable, but only after the property is inspected after move-out and no fixes are required. (Reminiscing SFX or FX) Ah, I remember the days of scrubbing an apartment, trying to get out any stains in the carpet (cats) and spackling up holes in the wall (large cats) SFX of a lion roar because I was desperate to get my entire security deposit back. I may or may not have been in a traveling circus once upon a time… But just think, your security deposit could be your first mortgage payment!
Rent-controlled places are few and far between these days. Most rentals increase rent on a yearly basis. This used to give me so much anxiety waiting to hear how much the increase will be and then figuring out how to create the extra wiggle room in my budget. Trying to bribe my landlord with a thoughtful Christmas gift so he wouldn’t raise my rent. In vain …
When it comes to pets, two things are certain: They’re SO CUTE AND they have a tendency to make messes. Because of the latter, most landlords charge a pet deposit and/or pet rent. If you’re lucky enough to get away with just a one-time deposit, it’ll set you back anywhere from $100-$500 along with your regular security deposit, and will likely be refundable upon move-out, assuming there’s been no damage done. Pet rent, however, is a recurring, non-refundable fee that can cost you anywhere from $15-$50 per pet, per month. When you own your home, your four-legged BFF can live there rent-free!
So, when you break down the costs of renting, home ownership suddenly becomes a real possibility. Instead of paying your landlord’s mortgage, invest in your own! If you’re ready to get started, put us to work and let us do the math. We’ll run a rent vs. own analysis, find out what you can comfortably afford, and help you break free from the rental trap.