Ladder and artwork to shelf in bedroom of French apartment

Renting Rules

Who says you have to set down roots?

For someone who might have to relocate for a job or who doesn’t have a lot of cash in the bank, Renting is a smart move.   

A lot of my girlfriends are homeowners; immaculate portraits of real estate-togetherness.  I filled water balloons with them, held bouquets at their weddings.  Now they’re pouring their paychecks into baby room renovations and mid-century mod furniture.  If this were Now and Then, they’d be the casserole-toting Chrissys, while I’m more Demi Moore sans the chain smoking.  But here’s the thing: I like renting.

The amount I pay each month is a fraction of someone else’s mortgage.  I don’t spend weekends at Home Depot picking out paint colors.  My roots aren’t dug deep into a sleepy neighborhood with minivans a’ plenty.  I could move to Japan tomorrow if I wanted to and I like that idea.     Yes, I dream about subway tile in my kitchen.  Yes, I am obsessed with Property Brothers.  But if you send a check to your landlord every month like I do, here’s my ode to renting;  things to keep in mind to  make the most of mortgage-free days.


Some of the most innovative home design is happening in big cities where the spaces are smaller, thanks to high-rise living.  This means that for those of us who rent apartments, Pinterest is our friend, too.  There are also a lot of benefits to decorating a small space.  A single statement piece can make the whole room.  A small art collection makes a big impact.  And hey-o, smaller-sized furniture can be cheaper. Renting also provides the perfect opportunity to experiment with decor ideas.  Stack books six feet high next to your desk for a colorful side sculpture.  Try out a gallery wall with vintage Vogue prints.  Instead of paint, try removable vinyl wall decals to test your creativity to the max. Focus on functionality and think outside the box.  

Renting is the perfect time to save money and plan for the future.

Save Money

In contrast to homeowners, who have huge down payments and high move-in costs, the initial investment to rent a home or apartment is quite low, something like first and last month’s rent.  As a renter, you may also be able to budget easier, because renting costs generally don’t change.  And since there are no home repairs for you to do, you’ll save money on leaky faucets and broken washers and dryers.  In other words, renting is the perfect time to save money and plan for the future.

Enjoy the Renting Lifestyle

Owning a home is a long-term commitment.  When you sign that stack of papers, you’re entering into a loan you’ll be paying off for decades.  Renters enjoy more freedom.  They make a phone call when the dishwasher breaks.  They can sell everything and move to Timbuktu if the mood strikes. Renters also often live in the same complexes and apartment buildings as like-minded people.  Since face-to-face connection is so important to our happiness, there’s a lot to be said for the social element renting often provides.    Most everyone dreams about owning property one day, but the timing on when we should do that has totally shifted.  People have mounds of student loan debt.  They want to start a family later, or not at all.  They’re planning on moving for work..  You might want a home someday, but in the interim, there are a lot of underrated benefits to renting.  So keep calm and rent on.

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Natalie Holtz
Natalie Holtz is an avid blogger and freelance journalist living in San Diego. Her work has been featured in regional magazines and by online publications such as WordPress' Freshly Pressed, Elephant Journal and Quarterlette. Inspired by her real estate-saavy grandmother, Natalie dreams about owning a house with a clawfoot bathtub and a garden. She is also passionate about empowering others to live their best lives through her writing. For more on Natalie, visit her blog
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