Psychology of Real Estate: Renting vs. Owning

Do you own your home or rent?  What led you to this place?  Are you happy with your current living situation?  While you might think “it’s just the way it worked out”, I’d argue that there’s some psychology in place that cause it to work out this way.

Owning a home is a statement.  It says, “This is where I’ve chosen to live, and I’ll probably be here a while.”  There’s no point to buying a home if you’re planning to move soon.  (Unless you’re an investor, but that’s another topic for another day.)  Home-ownership makes you a bit more involved in the community, simply by owning a sliver of it.  It’s in your best interest to improve your community, for your quality of life and the value of your home.

Renting a home is also a statement.  It says, “I have the flexibility to pick up and move at pretty much any time.”  Sometimes, you plan to exercise that flexibility (ie, most college students).  Maybe you just like to keep your options open.  Or maybe you prefer someone else to take care of maintenance, property taxes, and possibly some utility bills.  Renting is a more carefree lifestyle choice.

Do you rent or own?  What are the pros and cons as you see it?

2 thoughts on “Psychology of Real Estate: Renting vs. Owning

  1. Came across this post on your blog while surfing psychology tagged posts; hope you don’t mind a random commentator! Leaving aside practicalities of the relative costs of the two approaches to living, I would agree there’s a psychological element to the decision.

    Renting is more carefree in some respects, but it’s also more unpredictable. You’re at the mercy of your landlord to some extent. Buying is more demanding, but also allows you to be in control more. So I’d suggest that as well as a lifestyle choice, it’s also about how much control you want to exert over your life.

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