How Long Should You Rent Before Owning A Home in 2022? (Rent vs Buy Guide)

Updated February 18, 2020
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A question many renters face is, how long should I rent before buying a home? And when will I know the time is right?

It’s no longer a simple question and requires a lot more thought and consideration than ever before. People are prolonging the renting process instead of jumping into owning their own homes. And when they do, they are buying smarter, not faster. Follow along in our Rent vs Buy guide for 2022 to see which option is best for you!

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Rent vs Buy Demographics

The biggest demographic of current renters, and also future homebuyers are young professionals or millennials. They are between the ages of 23 and 38, and in the current housing market. These consumer are renting longer, and face more unique challenges when it comes to buying a home than their predecessors. Increased student loan debt, locations of jobs, and inability to save with increasing living costs make renting seem far more attractive.

Now it’s hard to say that there is an actual length of time for how long you should rent before buying a home. In fact, more and more young people are considering renting forever. In a 2019 renter survey done by Apartment List, it showed more and more millennials are planning to “rent forever” to the tune of 12.3% nationally, and even more in some cities.

This major shift in the housing market shows that far more people are renting than buying. Before the 21st century, buying a house was what people did when they reached a certain age, career, marital status, or salary. It was the American Dream. This does not mean that the American Dream is dead, but it does mean people consider their ability to buy and afford a home with caution. If we learned anything from the housing crash of 2008, it’s that buying a house is a big deal and should not be handled lightly.

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What Makes Renting the Right Option?

  • You are a full or part-time student
  • You are a young professional just starting out in your career
  • Your career trajectory shows a lot of change, or even moving around a lot
  • You plan to move for any reason in the next 3-5 years (personal, career, or otherwise)
  • You have a lot of debt
  • You enjoy the luxuries of apartment amenities
  • You are single and don’t want to commit to buying a home on your own

Those are just a few main reasons that make renting definitely worth your while and the best option. Students and young professionals can have a lot of wiggle room by renting, and don’t have to commit to anything long term. This is especially important before you start a career or are just starting out. A lot can change very quickly!

Student loan debt is a major factor that inhibits millennials from buying a home, but that’s ok! With the added costs that purchasing a home can bring, renting allows that time to pay off debts, save up money, and have the flexibility of not having to care for a property. Maybe even have a little disposable income for awhile! This could mean more vacations and less yard work.

When’s the Right Time to Buy a House?

  • You have at least a 5% down payment
  • You have enough saved for closing costs, moving costs, repairs, remodeling
  • You have no plans to move out of state in the coming years
  • You are prepared financially and emotionally to handle caring for a property

Buying a house is a big decision and should be handled with care. One thing you can do if you are considering taking the plunge is meeting with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can review your finances, and walk you through every possible scenario that you could and should plan for before you buy a home. Your financial planner or mortgage officer can help you determine how much house you can actually afford, based on current savings and earnings.

How much house you can afford goes beyond the selling price of the home, which is very important to note. There are closing costs, property taxes, realtor fees, moving costs, and of course, ongoing maintenance or surprises that may come up in the first few years. The last thing you want to do is get in over your head right out of the gate. With proper saving, planning, and support, you can determine if buying a house is indeed the right next step.

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The Future of Renting

As the stats show affordability as being the #1 reason people are waiting to buy a house, it also comes down to preference. Living in a world of conveniences, more and more Millenials prefer to rent.

In a time where we can order virtually any food, we want to be delivered to our house. Even household items can be delivered within days, or hours, of ordering them. There’s no reason at all to leave the comfort of our homes after a long day’s work.

Many luxury apartment buildings and rental condos cater to this lifestyle, and the amenities are endless, making our lives easier and easier. Essentially people are factoring in the convenience of in-unit cable and internet, heated parking garages, pools, saunas, spas, fitness centers — the list goes on. All of these amenities get factored into the cost of our rentals, and for a lot of people, that pays off in the end.

Find Your Luxury Apartment Today!

Our Bigos luxury apartments make you feel at home and offer all the convenience a rental should offer. Before you decide whether to buy a house, why not choose a Bigos apartment to make you feel at home. We will treat you like family, and we’ll even take care of the lawn.

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