Money Monday: Renting vs. Owning Pt. 1

To rent or to own?

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Which is better? Personally, I've only rented in my lifetime. However, when I think about my future I wonder how long I'm going to continue renting a place. When will I know when it's time to make the switch to owning? Will renting always be a good option?

Well, I found a helpful article from our friends in Canada at Young & Free Alberta. I thought I would share with you a story of the good, bad, and the ugly when it comes to renting. Devin Selte, who formerly contributed to the Young & Free Alberta blog tells all about his renting experience and gives us a pretty good insight into the costs. 

So here is Devin's story: 


When I finished college and moved to the thriving metropolis of Provost to start my credit union career at the age of 20 (14 years ago), I was pretty much broke.  I barely had enough money to buy a wardrobe of dress clothes for my new job let alone a 5% down payment required to purchase a home. That is why renting an apartment in my young adult years absolutely worked for me.

After borrowing enough money from my dear Momma for my first month’s rent and damage deposit ($870 total), I was all set to enjoy the life of a bachelor.  

No grass cutting. No snow shoveling. No property taxes. If the faucet broke, I didn’t fix it, someone else did. Beautiful.


Unfortunately my first apartment did not include a garage to house my vehicle. This created a number of problems. 

Firstly, having an older vehicle that was not a well oiled machine typically meant the need for a boost from time to time when -30 degree temperatures came blowing through P-Town. And this was even if I had that bad boy plugged in!

I am also an avid hockey player and like most, my equipment wreaks.  Without having the luxury of a garage, it meant my equipment would dry out in the trunk of my car after a hard fought mens league game.  What this really meant is that I needed to go to my games an hour early to allow my ice ball of hockey equipment to thaw out under the bathroom hand dryer.

Shared laundry was also a problem. You couldn’t let your clothes sit in a washing machine for an extra minute after the cycle finished without having someone taking all of your wet clothes out and leaving them on the floor.  

And very thin walls. Very. Thin. Walls.  


The ugly is really the reality of renting. Some people believe that renting is a complete waste of money as you are essentially throwing it away when you could be a home owner. With every mortgage payment, you are increasing your equity in your personal residence.

As the years have gone on, rent prices have skyrocketed. If I had stayed as a renter over an extended period, here is the accumulated rent expense I would have been paying:  

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Now that is the truly ugly part!


Hope this helps, 

Lauren R.