Sunday, September 28, 2008

renting a house is better

september 28 2008

I've been asked over and over again by americans why we haven't bought a house.

Well, here in The Netherlands renting a house doesn't say anything about income, standing or image.
It's not that renting means we have lower income or are of a lesser social level.

When we made the choice not to buy we had no financially secure future.
Working in science means hopping from project to project, and there might be a gap in between projects.
All in all we've been lucky to have had only 8 months of lack of employment between projects, but it could have been far worse.
We choose for a steady job, paying a bit less, but giving more security.

By that time houseprices were up in such a way that the house we wanted was out of reach, unless we choose to rent. And we did.

Jack Hough wrote a nice article about renting in the USA.

He forgot to mention one important issue.

When houses get older they need repairs.
Leaking roofs, windowsills that need to be replaced, outside painting, electric adjustments to renewed standards, other doors. These are just a few of all the repairs house owners find themselves confronted with.

Here they are all done buy the firm who rents out the houses.
Even the tiling inside the house, a failing toilet, noisy stairs and ofcourse the annual check of the heating system.

Where home owners expect to be able to lean back and see nothing much change on their bank account, they pay taxes and repairs.

All we do is pay each month and make a call when a repair needs to be done.
And when we want to move to another house the only fuzz is a letter 2 months in advance to tell the house owner we want to leave.

No people walking through our home to view the house. It's ours until the last box leaves and the door is closed behind us.


  1. I wish renting a place here is as tenant-friendly like the one you have there. =)

  2. You have that absolutely right!

    I recently started renting a very old property (over 300 years old!). It's beautiful, I love living in it. But I don't intend to own it. Why not? It simply costs too much to maintain!

    So, although I still own (and will continue to keep) my previous house, I'm enjoying living in a gorgeous building - with maintained grounds and all servicing performed - for less than the cost of a mortgage!

    Why am I here? Well your blog showed on a random link, and it looked appropriate ;D


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