To buy or to rent… that is the question!

So now that the house is on the market, Brad and I have to make a choice. A big choice. Do we buy another house or do we rent?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve googled “renting vs. buying” or “why my family loves living in an apartment”. I mean, I feel like the wisest choice at this time in our lives is going to be to rent. We still don’t know exactly where we want to live. We still don’t know exactly how much we want to spend on a house. I don’t know how much I’ll be making working part-time and who knows where life’s going to lead Brad career-wise. There’s so many questions up in the air right now. I feel that it’s in our best interest to rent. But my stomach flips when I think of renting (and not in a good way).

There’s this stigma when it comes to renting, isn’t there? At least in Omaha there is. You hear that someone’s renting and you automatically think that they’re down on their luck. Why can’t they afford a house? Housing is so affordable in Omaha! And there’s this idea that kids need to grow up in a house. They need a backyard and they need plenty of square footage to run around. But I need to get over these notions. The truth is, renting can be a God-send whether you’re renting a house, a town home or an apartment. You have the freedom to leave whenever you want. You’re not tied to a place. Oh, our neighbor’s a jerk – let’s move! Or, oh I’d rather our kids went to these schools – okay, let’s move! Right now we’re looking at either doing a town home or an apartment. What’s great about these is that they’re virtually maintenance free. You don’t have to mow the lawn every weekend or shovel the snow. Your time isn’t tied up in these things. You want to take a weekend trip with your family? Okay! Go for it! You’ve got nothing but time. And not having a backyard would encourage us to get out. Let’s all go to the park! I’d be more inclined to interact with my children instead of ushering them out to the backyard. Plus a smaller space means less cleaning and that, in and of itself, makes my heart a little bit happy. Cutting down on chores is always a positive. Amenities would be nice too if those were available. A pool, a gym, a movie theater, a bowling alley… But the downsides – parking, not building equity, possible noise from super-duper close neighbors, trying to find a place that doesn’t allow pets so that our daughter’s dog allergies aren’t an issue. Now I have a headache.

But if we were to rent instead of buy, we could pay off our debt WAY faster. I mean MEGA faster. The stress would be even less. And that, my friends, is a huge plus. Plus as soon as all of our debt’s paid off, we’ll start saving. We’ll save up as much as we can muster for a down-payment on a house. And here’s a thought, maybe we could even save up enough to pay cash for a house. All it takes is time. But we want to stick to our family’s mission of being completely debt free. Financial freedom for me, please!

Our mission is to simplify, to uncomplicate the complicated. We want to be happy with less things. We want our children to grow up not pining for what so-and-so has but to be happy with what they have, which is more than a heck of a lot of other children in the world. We want to minimize the distractions from a happy life which are, in our opinions, material things. I think renting a small space for a few years might help us reach our goal and make us more grateful. We won’t be inclined to fill every last inch of a 2,400 square foot house with stuff. We simply won’t have the room. Hallelujah!

We go back and forth on whether to rent or buy everyday. Buying a home and settling in just sounds so nice – decorating it for Christmas, having family and friends over and making it our own (I’m such a sap!). But I know the most financial sense is to rent. Only time will tell where we end up. We just have to sell the dang house first!

In the end, I’m just a tired and cranky pregnant woman who wants some place to lay down and put my feet up. Give me a mushroom pizza, Scream Queens and some peanut butter M&Ms and I’m set. Ha! I wish that’s all that it took…



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