The debate surrounding buying versus renting a property is not a new one. It has long been a focus topic and sometimes a point of contention, with both camps passionately fighting for their corner. However, more often than not, the public discussion centres on those who are “forced” to rent, rather than those who choose to do so. This approach has been particularly popular in the wake of recent buy-to-let booms that have seen rental listings increase while the homebuyers’ market has become more competitive.
This April especially, the news has covered several stories regarding the property predicament faced by the Millennial generation - who could now be mistaken for Generation Rent.
The BBC broke the news that millennials are likely to be renting all their lives, following the usual narrative of an impossible cycle where renting is hampering their ability to gather a deposit and secure a mortgage, and that the competitive market means many young would-be buyers are outpriced.
In this article, the pain points are discussed in great detail, with the overarching argument being that more needs to be done to help younger people get on the property ladder or we need to brace ourselves for an extended property crisis where a predicted third of the generation will have no choice but to live in rented accommodation their whole lives.
Is it really as bad as it seems?
While there are certainly a number of cases where younger potential buyers are unable to afford a deposit or mortgage, predominantly as a result of other factors outside the property market, such as wages, inflation and a lack of help available, there are plenty of benefits afforded by renting a property.
So, with so much doom and gloom surrounding the topic, we thought it might be refreshing to take a look at all of the reasons why renting can be useful, fun and even preferential to buying.
There is nothing wrong with choosing not to tie yourself down with a mortgage. Equally, if that is your endgame, that’s just fine. But it is nice to have the flexibility to make choices without all the strings and red tape.
If you are still plugging away at building your career and you envisage more moves before you can settle in one spot, renting will likely work better for you. Fewer fees, you don’t have to rely on a finicky property market before moving on, and you will have agents and landlords who can take the stress of a move (or several) away from you.
The same is true if you aren’t sure what kind of place you want, or where you want it. Mortgages, for all their benefits, do not provide the same freedom and flexibility as rented properties.
Try Before You Buy
Not often do we get a dress rehearsal in life, but renting can give you an invaluable opportunity to try before you buy.
Whether that means testing the waters with friends before putting pen to paper, or trying out different places and property types before you pick “the one”. Even for those who aim for homeownership eventually, being able to “try out” different locations and certain neighbourhoods before you commit can provide a lot of insight. This is particularly helpful if you are new to an area and want to make an informed decision before signing up for the next 30 years.
Perhaps you thought a quiet country life was for you, but after a few months renting your two-bed flat in London, you might find yourself falling in love with life in the city. Alternatively, you might plan to embrace a cosmopolitan lifestyle for the next few years before finding a home to buy and settle in. Either way, renting means you can try out all your options before you commit, so you can find the right fit.
A Helping Hand
Last but not least, the beauty of having a rented property is that you have a support system. They may not be there for every bad day at work, but they can take an awful lot of pressure and hassle away from you when it comes to the more mundane - and even stressful - aspects of home ownership.
Burst pipes, remedial work, repairs and the like are all things handled by your landlord and letting agent. You don’t need to do the hunting, the ringing round or the awkward back and forth. You just enjoy your home and leave it to the professionals.
Generation Rent could be onto a good thing…
All in all, when you look at renting in its own right, there are plenty of good reasons people choose this route. What makes Generation Rent even more likely to rent is their savviness when it comes to tech and life. Millennials seem to embody the entrepreneurial spirit in all that they do, breaking traditions and creating new norms.
Of course, there will be a select few who would like to own a home outright decades down the line, but right now they are happy to enjoy the spoils of quality properties while letting experienced landlords and agents handle the bulk of the responsibility. In addition, they know how to get what they want while making the most of the digitalscape at their fingertips.
We make home finding especially easy for Generation Rent, with our one-stop-shop model that allows these forward-thinkers to peruse rental property auctions across the country, easily and efficiently online - whether they are packing up their current digs or chilling out in a coffee shop.
So fear not Generation Rent - LetsBid Property has got your back. Check out our listings or enquire today to learn more.