There are many great debates in American pop culture.
Tupac or Biggie? Boyz II Men or Dru Hill? LeBron or Jordan? Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?
One of the most intriguing debates finding traction in the world of Millennials and finance is the debate of whether to buy a home or to continue renting.
The Great Recession
Upon my graduating from Syracuse University in 2010, I was welcomed into the working world during the heart of The Great Recession. Caused in large part due to a bubble in home values and irresponsible subprime loans, The Great Recession left a scar on the hearts and minds of Millennials over what it means to own a home.
Seeing the incredible loss of value in homes during that period and shouldering a collective $1.4 trillion dollars in student loan debt, many millennials are asking whether it’s responsible to sign-up for an immovable asset and 30-year mortgage tied to owning a home.
A Case for Renting
The Millennial generation is the “own nothing” generation. You can rent a car from the curb nearest you. You can hail a taxi using an app and get a ride to brunch in a car you do not own. I’ve heard there’s a website that allows you to rent tools from nearby neighbors. Even companies founded in more recent years are making strides to own less to reduce or eliminate overhead.
A shift has happened wherein Millennials are considerate of the fact that ownership implies liability, and liability often means added costs.
Renting an apartment or home offers you the benefit of not being responsible for breakdowns or repairs. Renting provides a fixed monthly cost to factor into your monthly budget that does not change based on repairs or failure of appliances. For many, this lack of long-term responsibility presents peace-of-mind in not having to be concerned about the long-term welfare of your living space. It also absolves you from the imperative of maintaining your living space for the sake of keeping and increasing its value.