Danielle D'Ambrosio
Real Estate Correspondent
Luxury Real Estate Consultant at Gibson Sotheby's International Realty

The rental rat race. We’re all over it. Hate the color of your walls? Too bad. Paint it and risk losing your security deposit. Your friend is staying at your place to watch your cat while you’re away for the weekend? Get ready for the constable to serve you an eviction notice for “subletting”. These may sound ridiculous, but these are authentic rental nightmare stories recounted by clients. Then there’s the frustration of having your rent jacked up year after year. You have two choices: pay it or pay to move— which I personally detest. I’ll pay almost anything to not have to move ever again. I call it ‘the price of my sanity’.

So why do so many of us continue to pay our landlord’s mortgage instead of our own? Almost daily, a client will mention that they are “sick of renting”, would "love to buy”, but "just can't afford it". I ask how much they pay in rent— the one thing we can count on increasing each year— and respond with how much home they can buy for the same amount. They’re always surprised. Owning a home is 36% cheaper than renting nationwide. It’s the best time to buy since 2012, when rates were a tad lower. With a 30-year fixed mortgage, you’ll spend the next three decades paying the exact same amount each month— a convenient form of ‘forced savings’. 

Haven’t saved enough for a down payment? Don’t stress. Consider this: combining the first, last, security, and broker fee you pay up front at move-in is almost the equivalent of the amount you need to put down for your own home. Throw in a few tax return dollars and you have that condo you were convinced you couldn’t afford. Clients are continuing borrow their downpayment or the full cash purchase amount from a family member. The investment is a no-brainer for your relative and you’re able to buy into the market while rates are at an all-time low and affordability is still an achievable concept.

Unless you’re living with your parents rent-free, you’re paying a mortgage— whether it’s your own or your landlord’s. By renting, you’re missing out on tax benefits of homeownership, you’re paying down your landlord’s principal instead of your own, and you can’t even paint a damn wall without asking permission first. Owning makes way more sense than renting financially and for the sake of living freely. Knowing all of this, what’s your excuse for continuing to rent now? Go find your dream home.