Shane and I have been married 4 years and a month. In that time, we’ve paid a little more than $36,000 in rent. I think the tally is somewhere around $36,310 if I did the math right.
I consider it money well-spent.
Sure, it is a lot of money. And sure, it could have been money toward equity on a house.
But here’s the thing: We couldn’t have afforded a house for most of those years. We couldn’t afford the mortgage plus property taxes in Pittsburgh for what we were seeking. We couldn’t afford the higher utilities and the repairs and upkeep a house would require. Having our own house would have been a bad move.
We needed a place to live. We needed the flexibility to pick up and move at short notice if we wanted that (and we did. Hi, Indiana!). Renting gave us that freedom.
Whether you have a house with a mortgage or are a renter, you still need a place to live and need to pay for that. Renting isn’t throwing money away. It’s paying for your home, one month at a time.
Renting for four years has put us in the financial position to be able to buy a house now. With a lower monthly payment than a mortgage might cost us (plus the other expenses), we had room in the budget to set aside money for other things.
One bonus now — we are eligible for an income tax reduction on our Indiana taxes for being a renter. I don’t know what that will do for our overall state tax situation, but it does help.
Our house hunt continues tomorrow evening. Not sure if the houses we’ll see tomorrow will pan out, but if not it’s just more time for us to build our savings.