Being Young: Rent or Buy?

It’s part of the American dream to own a home. You know–maybe one with a white picket fence and two little children playing in the yard.  Sounds like a plan!

But that’s never really been  my dream. My dreams have always consisted of travel, volunteer work, starting up non-profits, exercising some entrepreneurship, and helping start-ups get their feet off the ground. So buying or building a home wasn’t at the forefront of all of that.

And at the age of 20 I have decided to go out on my own. So when I chose to do this I was faced with the decision to save up for a deposit on a house and buy one in my hometown or rent.

Some people say rent is throwing away your money every month. But realistically it’s money that is keeping a roof over your head and providing a place for you to live outside of your day job.

So personally, at my ripe young age, I’ve decided to rent an apartment. Mainly because I want to  build up my assets in the form of cash right now, and because since I am so young I don’t exactly know what the future holds. It seemed like too big of a risk to just buy a house for the sake of buying one.

I have to admit I had somewhat of a prejudice toward people who rented–I thought maybe they rented because they couldn’t handle their money well enough to have a mortgage. But my thoughts have changed in regards to that. That may be the case for some people but I know it’s definitely not the case for everyone who rents. Right now, renting allows me to be mobile and not feel as “stuck” as I might if I had a mortgage.

I still have a long ways to go in understanding everything about buying a home vs. renting but overall I think it’s a choice each individual has to make for themselves. One day I may very well own a home but even then I hope to travel around doing different things.  =)

Let me ask you–what do you think of renting vs. buying? Do you think it’s wise when young people get a mortgage during or right out of college?