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Rent vs Buy: Advantages of Renting a Home as a Family

April 11, 2019

Traditionally, purchasing a home was one of the milestones of the American Dream. Only after becoming a homeowner, one would typically begin thinking about settling down and starting a family. But that’s not the case anymore.

More and more people are discovering the benefits of renting and opt to do it indefinitely. One doesn’t have to wait to buy a house to have kids. In fact, renting will often diminish some of the burdens associated with homeownership. It provides more financial flexibility, and even helps you spend more time with your new family. If you’d like to learn more about the advantages of renting a home as a family, check out some of our favorite upsides of being a renter.

More Time to Spend With Your Family

According to our report on the differences in how homeowners and renters spend their time, renters with children spend an average of 18 minutes fewer per day on household activities. Over the course of a year, this adds up to 109.5 hours. With this extra time, renters also spend an additional 85 hours per year on relaxation and leisure, and most importantly an extra 97 hours per year on sleep.

Low Upfront Cost

One of the main benefits of renting is low upfront costs. If you are trying to create a family, you probably know that saving for a down payment can be tough. According to our recent study, 48% of millennials have saved nothing for a down payment. One of the main reasons for this is student debt, which is keeping homeownership out of reach for many millennials. In the past decade, the average debt burden of students graduating with loans increased by 70%. When it comes to upfront costs, down payment is only a part of it. There is also first time home insurance. Renting also requires some upfront investment in the form of security deposit, pet deposit, first and last months’ rent. However, those tend to be lower than upfront expenses associated with buying a house. Lower upfront costs are a big advantage of renting a home as a family.


When deciding whether to rent or buy a home as a family, you should consider how willing you are to settle in a given location. The flexibility to move or relocate can have a lot of advantages. If you are trying to build a career and are seeking out advancement opportunities, you may need to relocate for your job. When choosing a school for your kids, you may want to consider moving based on the school district you want to be in. Homes in good school districts can be very expensive, whereas rent rates might be more affordable.

Limited to No Responsibility for Repairs and Maintenance

When considering purchasing a home it’s easy to forget about small but significant things like repairs and maintenance. If you are a young parent, you are likely getting little to no sleep and don’t need any more chores added on your to-do list. When you rent, your landlord is usually responsible for all major repairs on the rental property, unless otherwise specified in your lease agreement. Therefore, renting will save you time and money, as maintenance costs and repair bills will be covered by your landlord or property manager.

Some Utilities May Be Included

Utilities can add up. As a homeowner, you have to pay all utilities yourself. However, as a renter, most of the time you’ll only be paying for some utilities, and the rest will be taken care of by your landlord. Most often gas and electricity are paid by renters, and water and trash are covered by a landlord. And saving on utilities means that you can spend more money on your family.

Credit Requirements Are Usually Less Strict

Although both renting and buying a home often require good credit history, the ramifications of having less than perfect credit are different in the two cases. When you are trying to buy a house, your credit score will have a direct impact on your mortgage rate, costing you more money. If you are applying for a rental, the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t get approved.

While there are both pros and cons to renting, it is a great choice for a contemporary family that wants to have flexibility and isn’t ready to shell out a lot of money on a down payment. Opting to rent can reduce the number of your daily chores and help you spend more quality time with your family.

If you know about other advantages of renting a home as a family, share them by tagging us on Twitter @ApartmentList.

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Sania is a content manager and contributing author at Apartment List. Sania previously worked in marketing at Habitat for Humanity and Samsung Electronics. Read More
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