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You're Renting, Tell Us How You Feel About It


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I want me and my family to be happy as a first priority without the need to worry about everything we do. I don't want to make money out of an increase or a decrease of the market but just understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option. My conclusion so far is, if you can afford it, which I can, keep owning a house. If you can't rent or if your situation is changing radically, rent the best you can afford were someone will let you decorate to your taste or change the kitchen as someone described earlier.

You say that you are happy to own and can afford it and so I assume you probably won't STR.

However there's more to consider than whether you would enjoy renting or not.

For example, assuming you have a mortgage, would the house still be affordable if interest rates went through the roof considering the interest rates we are experiencing now are historically low?

Do you plan to continue living in the same area for many years into the future and are there a lot of jobs in your area, do you consider your job to be recession proof?

I am not asking for you to answer these questions on this forum because these questions are quite personal but one of the reasons people have STRed is not only because they can get a good price for their house now but also and more importantly if / when things get difficult economically they can be more flexible than if they have to continue living in one place because of negative equity or simply not being able to sell.

Personally buying is not an option for me because with a three - three and a half multiple of my salary I could only get a bedsit which is ridiculous. Instead I rent a nice flat and wait for prices to drop to reasonable levels.

I don't like renting though, I had my first inspection of the property from the new landlord last night and I got so stressed beforehand making sure everything was just so.

There's nothing wrong with the landlord, thats just me, thats my problem and I know that if I owned the place and was selling it I would be just the same about people coming to view.

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I completed on the sale of my 2 bed flat 3 weeks ago as I wanted to move to a new area (having been in the flat for 8+ years) and also wanted to upgrade to a house. Needless to say I chose renting over buying in the new area.

And I can tell now, it absolute bliss. A fantastic 2 bed semi detatched house with conservatory and garage. Neutral decor and carpets inside, just how I like it. Recently purchased, stylish oak and leather furniture probably about £5K's worth - just how I like it. A nice enough kitchen and bathroom (a little outdated perhaps, but to be honest who cares).

I look forward to returning home each evening, because it feels warm and inviting, exactly like home. I've had friends round who have been quite impressed with the interior too. I really enjoy being there.

And best part - NO MAINTENANCE ISSUES. Last week the landlord came over and replaced the washing machine which was playing up. I just sat on the leather soft and watched a DVD while all this was going on.

Before I moved in the power shower was broken. He got that repaired too.

Anyone who has owned a Victorian conversion property will know what it's like. Leaky roof and loose tiles, old plumbing issues, uneven floor etc...!!!! And I'm no longer paying £50 pcm into the joint service charge pot, no buildings insurance to arrange either (I was joint freeholder). It just feels like a huge weight has been lifted from me.

Cost wise, the landlord purchased the rental property for £232K in mid 2004. Plus stamp duty and furniture costs. On an interest only basis that works out to about £1,000 pcm on the total acquisition costs at 5%. I'm paying £900. And if/when he sells, he'll pay 1.5% + VAT to an agent, say, £4,100 assuming he get's what he paid for it.

In the meantime I get to enjoy the benefits of what he has put together, subsidised by him !! Plus I earn interest on my equity from the flat.

I highly recommend it. And it's definitely worth spending a little extra for a nicer rental place. If you penny pinch you'll end up renting somewhere you don't actually llike.

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Guest Bart of Darkness
If we'd been renting, we would have been in someone else's house, we could not even paint it the way we wanted, let alone changing the kitchen or bathroom and we would have people coming to check our place regularly to make sure we did not make too many holes in the wall or made the ugly carpet dirty.

I rent from the council. £160 per month for a 1 bed flat. That's about 7.5% of my annual income. I can decorate it how I like (short of knocking walls down) and the council does all the repairs (they fitted me two taps to my bathroom sink just the other day). Thanks to the Decent Homes Initiative they will be fitting a new kitchen , new bathroom and double glazing next year. The only regular check is the gas man coming every year to check that everything is safe.

It may not be mine but if feels like my private space (I could buy it on full discount out of my savings but I'm really not that bothered--maybe after the council has spruced it up a bit :D ).

I'd like my own place in order to have more space and a bit of privacy but really, it's not that big a deal.

Anybody out there who thinks I'm going to pay them £100,000 for doing nothing, dream on! I'll buy this place first.

Edited by Bart of Darkness
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I can't say we like renting, the house we live in is OK (we wouldn't buy it though). We could buy now, but the places we can afford now have no parking, are not big enough to have a family in and would not be in a area we would be comfortable to live in. If we bought what we could afford, we would certainly have to move within the next five years and our feelings about the market is that this could spell serious financial problems.

At the moment we pay a very cheap rent, which enanble us to save huge sums each month and the interest we make is paying roughly 1/2 our rental costs, so financially, it makes sense to rent.

I only ever buy things I can afford, I either don't buy it or make sacrifices elsewhere to buy it. At the moment I cannot afford a decent sized house so I can't buy one.

TTRTR's made a good suggestion of renting out a room, which I would definately consider (Mr Goat's not too keen). Unfortunately, in the south east, even this wouldn't bring in enough money to pay for a decent home.

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We rent, we can afford to buy, but as mentioned thousands of time on this site, subscribe to this being finanically 'stupid' (and indeed have thought so for the last five years...yup great call that one....). However, while I don't mind renting (infact the flexibility has been very important) that much, wife hates it, and following birth of baby, would definately now prefer to own. It is annoying not able to decorate a nursery etc.. While I'm getting fed up of waiting for a more rapid crash, I do believe the maket has turned - I probably no longer have the luxury of waiting till it bottoms, probably buy late 2006.

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Have been renting for 4 months since returning to the UK with my family. We still have a home in NZ.

Fully furnished (and I meean fully, not just TVs and all furniture but even down to cleaning fluids, all cutlery etc - it's like living in a hotel) for 700 quid a month. South coast town before anyone asks.

I have no problems with it, the only thing that irks me is dealing with slimy letting agents, but there again you would have to deal with Real Estate Agents if buying.

Would I buy? No; the big advantage for the family is flexibility; we are looking to buy a place in OZ in the next few years.

Locking cash into a house in the UK and then trying to sell it in 18 months to 2 years time would not be clever.

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Great, so let's summarise this.

Last time I rented was 6 years ago and the owner of the flat had the great idea to put a beige carpet in the kitchen. After 6 months, during the monthly check, they decided it was too dirty and had to be replaced (£200). What else would you expect from a beige carpet in the kitchen ? 6 months later, I left and had to pay another £200 for it. The colours in the flat were terrible and I was not allowed to even hang a picture on the wall. that was hell.

Today, it seems landlord are becoming very flexible, people are enjoying renting whereas, this same question 6 years ago would have been unanimous and no-one liked renting then. Therefore, a simple conclusion is that we are going towards the like of Germany or France where it is the norm to rent for very long periods. It seems that there has been several thread recently on this forum where people are trying ot convince everyone that we can not become a rental society and well, does not this thread point towards this exact fact. I agree with all the advantages of renting: flexibility, no hassle, no decoration to do, no financial worries and it does have a lot of appeal. If that was the case, the HPC may well not happen because the UK will happily settle in a new ratio of owner/tenants.

I really don't know what's gonna happen but honestly, 6 years ago, noone would have said that renting was fun or great

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We strd 2003,moving children and all. Originally wanted to trade up, but would not borrow heavily, only to be in neg equity (by now probably).

The most ultimate reason had to be our experiences of the last property boom and crash. It is not nice, and we both refuse to 'go there' again. :(

When we sold up we said, 2yrs renting best case scenario, 4yrs worst. Well there's houses just entering the market that might be suitable and affordable,but hey? why catch a falling knife. ;)

If you think it through and don't spend your profit, get on with your life and forget house prices for a while...it will all turn out ok...house prices will go down :)

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If that was the case, the HPC may well not happen because the UK will happily settle in a new ratio of owner/tenants. I really don't know what's gonna happen but ....

I can’t comment on the impact to society of an increased in renters, because I’m indifferent to the impact. Renting for me and my family is the perfect compromise for now and the foreseeable future. I guess you and your family have got to be happy as to how you want to hedge your bets on their future.

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I really don't know what's gonna happen but honestly, 6 years ago, noone would have said that renting was fun or great

There are far more landlords chasing tenants these days because the world and his wife are doing BTL.

Standards have to be extremely high or the property just won't rent (in my area at least anyway), unless its a cheap 1 bed - there seems to be an insatiable demand for those.

I started viewing rentals 5 months before i actually moved as I though my flat would sell quickly. The buyer needed 3 attempts to get his mortgage (his mum ended up borrowing the money for him!!). By the time I moved there way still stuff on the market which had been advertised from months earlier.

There's just too much choice - but as ever the best rental properties will go quickly.

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That is a really good question!

I dont like renting and am fed up of it but like most people dont want to land myself with a lifetime of debt by buying in the current market. In brighton, unless I got an IO mortgage, renting is cheaper & I am saving for a deposit with a view to buy in the next year. Fed up of smug friends who have 2 houses though gloating over me - am keeping my mouth shut on all grounds though!

:D

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I rent in a shared house for what now equates to 14% of my monthly salary, including council tax and water.

As much as i would LOVE to have a nice house that i could spend time turning into something of my own creation, that reflects my tastes and styles...... Its nice right now to know that all my spare money (which represents 60% of my salary after all bills, loans, transport and 'fixed' costs) is mine to spend on whatever i choose.... and i DONT need to worry about how well each aspect of my home matches up to those of my house owning peers.

Yes, theres a slight bit of frustration about feeling that im sometimes 'not in the same league' as other people, but im sure on the other hand my house owning friends are slightly jealous about how flexibly i can move around, travel and spend money like its going out of business.

For now... for the most part - Im happy.

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Personally I find renting soul destroying. Some like renting, many need the security that comes with buying (perceived or real).

I don't like the fact that I can't change anything about the place, that I'm paying off someone elses mortgage and I'll have nothing to show for it. The longer it takes me to buy a home and pay off a mortgage, the longer I will have to work in later years.

To me it's a black cloud pissing on my life.

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We sold in March & rented at that time just to avoid the stress of trying to buy & sell at the same time. At that time we were seriously looking to buy quickly - but never found Quite The Place - though we got very close to putting down a deposit on a barn conversion. We stayed in our first rented place for 6 months but it was not a good house (town house with a south-facing consevatory off the kitchen - nice & hot in the summer...). So we've moved to a lovely house, for the same rent amazingly, and will happily stay here until we find a place we like at a price we like. Our son is 6, and wants a dog, which obviously we can't have just yet - it'll be the first thing we buy when we get 'our bought house' - hope he's not a teenager by then!

We lived in our previus house for 18 years, and sometimes, in our old rented house, regretted selling, but on the other hand we are so well placed now it's been worth it. Until I came on this forum, I hadn't realised just how f****ed the economy is, so I'm much happier renting not buying at the moment unless the house we find is absolutely perfect. Just have to hope I can persuade my husband of this.

In my experience, then, it comes down to whether the rented house is a good house - if it is, it's a good thing to do: if it isn't move to a better house, and be happy. It has also helped us to decide what we want out of our bought house.

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I'm perfectly happy renting. As someone who has not yet owned a property, there is no incentive to buy at the moment at all. We rent a 3br detached house with a beautiful conservatory for roughly the same pcm as we'd have to pay to own a 1br flat (we need at least two bedrooms because I have a home office). It's really lovely & feels entirely like home. Recently got new flooring in upstairs and downstairs bathrooms - landlord let us decide what flooring to put in (we dealt directly with the company installing it), and we didn't have to pay anything! It's fantastic!

There ARE bad landlords out there, and there's a trick to finding a good landlord / agency, but in an increasingly competitive market, as a renter (particularly one who can spend a bit more than average) you hold all the cards. I got several changes in our tenancy agreement before we signed it (e.g. getting them to allow us to put picture hooks in to hang up our pictures), and we got a discount on the rent. I love the feeling that if my husband or I get a really exciting / lucrative job offer elsewhere in the world, we can just go there, and also love not worrying about maintenance because it's all a big yawn - I'd rather go to the cinema or spend time planning my next holiday!!

The other big plus is being able to move out if the neighbours are wierd - you often don't find out about this until you've been in a place for a few months! Yes, I speak from experience.

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We sold up and have been renting for 18 months now. To be honest we've never been happier. Priorities change. We are not concerned about decor, matching curtains and wallpaper etc. We travel more, socialise more and are happy not to have the millstone of a mortgate round our necks against a property whose value is likely to fall or at best remain static (which means a fall in real terms). We live in a lovely place in the country that would be impossible to buy and our monthly outgoings are dramatically reduced. Meanwhile savings accrue.

I would like to buy in to the market, but only when prices are realistic and not when we will be faced with the misery of paying huge amounts of interest on a depreciating asset. Did you know, you work 12 years of your life to pay your bank or building society the interest they charge.

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These are all great answers and make renting very appealing.

What really surprises me is people saying that they are very happy renting, that it's the best thing they've done and then, saying that they want to buy. Why is that ? why renting can stop one of you from having a dog, this is still a house ? in today's world were job security is more of an insecurity than anything else, being mobile is a plus and opens many doors. I strongly believe that, slowly, the UK society will stop considering people who rent as lower class people, these are just people who decided to use their money for other things like holidays, cars, going out, etc... and that's great. We should just learn to respect anyone for the choices they make in life. House prices may not fall as planned but they will not rise. Therefore, if owning a house is important to you and it costs a lot of your monthly income, do it but if, for you what's important is holidays, going out then rent and keep renting. I am sure that long term rents will develop where, as mentioned about Germany, people will change the house the way they want and stay for 5-10 years. After all, as a landlord, if you let someone invest in your house and change it the way they want, they are more likely to stay, that's a win-win situation. Stop feeling bad about renting, happiness is important and I am sure your neighboor owner will be looking at you and say: how come they're going on holidays again, how can they afford it ?

food for thought ...

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These are all great answers and make renting very appealing.

What really surprises me is people saying that they are very happy renting, that it's the best thing they've done and then, saying that they want to buy. Why is that ? why renting can stop one of you from having a dog, this is still a house ? in today's world were job security is more of an insecurity than anything else, being mobile is a plus and opens many doors. I strongly believe that, slowly, the UK society will stop considering people who rent as lower class people, these are just people who decided to use their money for other things like holidays, cars, going out, etc... and that's great. We should just learn to respect anyone for the choices they make in life. House prices may not fall as planned but they will not rise. Therefore, if owning a house is important to you and it costs a lot of your monthly income, do it but if, for you what's important is holidays, going out then rent and keep renting. I am sure that long term rents will develop where, as mentioned about Germany, people will change the house the way they want and stay for 5-10 years. After all, as a landlord, if you let someone invest in your house and change it the way they want, they are more likely to stay, that's a win-win situation. Stop feeling bad about renting, happiness is important and I am sure your neighboor owner will be looking at you and say: how come they're going on holidays again, how can they afford it ?

food for thought ...

However happy you are renting, it doesn't change the fact that one day you will be a pensioner and it's therefore much better to be free of an outgoing that claims a big chunk of your monthly income (ie buy home, clear mortgage by 65 or whatever). We (wife, toddler, baby on way) are currently happy renting though want to buy for this reason alone. I'm a keyworker so could do shared ownership, but don't want to be lumbered with 100 per cent of the repair bill for a property that's only 50 per cent mine. At the moment the landlord does all the paying (especially valuable when the missus is on maternity leave / working part time and every penny is vital). We've been in the current rental for 1.5 years and it's a great size but suffers horribly from condensation - walls are starting to go mouldy. If we'd bought it we'd be sick as pigs about this. And the road outside is busier than we'd thought (both cats have been hit by cars since moving in, costing Tesco insurance over £1500 - not bad for a tenner a month, either). Again, if we'd bought we'd be stuck with trying to find a buyer before we could get out. Insted, we can just give notice in May and clear off to a quieter, drier location. Without paying thousands in stamp duty, either. Since moving in the service charge has doubled. Not that we care...

Edited by Antsy
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These are all great answers and make renting very appealing.

What really surprises me is people saying that they are very happy renting, that it's the best thing they've done and then, saying that they want to buy. Why is that ? why renting can stop one of you from having a dog, this is still a house ? in today's world were job security is more of an insecurity than anything else, being mobile is a plus and opens many doors. I strongly believe that, slowly, the UK society will stop considering people who rent as lower class people, these are just people who decided to use their money for other things like holidays, cars, going out, etc... and that's great. We should just learn to respect anyone for the choices they make in life. House prices may not fall as planned but they will not rise. Therefore, if owning a house is important to you and it costs a lot of your monthly income, do it but if, for you what's important is holidays, going out then rent and keep renting. I am sure that long term rents will develop where, as mentioned about Germany, people will change the house the way they want and stay for 5-10 years. After all, as a landlord, if you let someone invest in your house and change it the way they want, they are more likely to stay, that's a win-win situation. Stop feeling bad about renting, happiness is important and I am sure your neighboor owner will be looking at you and say: how come they're going on holidays again, how can they afford it ?

food for thought ...

Good question - why do people who say they're happy renting want to buy?

Although I'm happy renting in our current home, I have had bad landlords in the past, and I think it's this which puts a lot of people off. Also, the conditions landlords can put in tenancy agreements can be pretty constricting (e.g. no children - pretty disgusting in my view if it's a 3br detached house). However, I think the tide is turning and we're beginning to see a market where good landlords are encouraged - this was posted on the all about renting forum - it's about unfair terms in tenancy agreements by the office of fair trading (http://www.oft.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DAAEFE5...EE/0/oft356.pdf).

In addition, it's more common now to go through agencies and they seem to be increasing the quality of landlords. I had to challenge my last landlord for being too intrusive, the EA backed me up the whole way and dealt with the whole thing - the LL soon backed off.

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After four years of renting a 2 bed flat in Preston, I decided on a whim that I fancied a change. So I'm now renting a 2 bed bungalow just outside Preston 3 minutes from work. That's the beauty of renting - you can upsticks when you feel like.

It cost £50 to hire a van (including damage waiver and diesel) + £70 letting agent fees between 2 people. It's not exactly a huge cost to move, and it came with remarkably little hassle.

I'm happy with my new place. It's true that you generally can't redecorate without permission but then I just choose homes that match my taste. For a fiver under £500 per month I now have 2 double bedrooms which are well decorated, a driveway for four cars, detached garage, paved gardens, fields behind the bungalow.

Now it's just a small matter of getting the landlord to fit some better loft & cavity wall insulation brrrrrr......

Edited by Anthony
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If I was 100% happy renting forever, I wouldn't be poking around on here. That said I'm not exactly unhappy renting - it's my friends and family that seem to have the problem with me renting.

My rent is £425 and I put £150 pcm into an ISA which is going to be used to buy a house one day, so friends/family say for £575 you could have a mortgage of around £100K which would buy a house. no it wouldn't. It would buy me a flat - a flat the size of the place I'm renting.

I'm hoping for a HP crash in the next 4 to 5 years, but if it doesn't happen, I'll have enough saved up to put down a massive deposit on a real house.

I think HP's will crash - therefore I'm happier renting. Simple.

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Well I am certainly enjoying the STR experience. Thought about issues of privacy and security initially, and worried whether I would take to renting after years of ownership. However, I am in a beautiful flat in great location 5 mins from beach in sunny Bournemouth (mmn, sometimes) and it is costing less per month than if I pooled my equity and got a mortgage on it (if the lenders would stretch - which I doubt). The feeling also of zero maintenance is wonderful, after years of DIY.

Here in B'mouth and Poole the prices are going sideways at best, so I'm not fretting. Simply very poor value in this area, compared to wages, so buying is just not an option. Patience is what we bears all need. And it will pay off...

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How happy am I about renting?

Well, I'm neither happy or sad about it. I suppose I'd rather buy, but I've been STR for a couple of years.

Advantages of renting for me are

- not tied to a location and can take a new contract anywhere

- no need to worry about how much prices fall

- no maintenance !

- cheaper than buying the same property

I'd like to buy, but can't risk my hard-earned cash in the present UK market.

Besides, if things get much worse here we'll be leaving UK anyway.

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