Three Reasons Why Renting Before You Buy Is A Great Idea

Funky Cushion

A lot of millennials have some sort of experience renting from university housing but if like me you stayed at home during university (or maybe didn’t opt to go) moving out and renting isn’t quite as easy. While most of us yearn for the freedom of flocking our parental nest for a lot of people – especially those near to London – this can be almost impossible with the high prices of rental never mind prices of properties to buy.

I have been very lucky and I bought into a shared ownership property just before my 23rd birthday meaning I moved into a brand new flat which was actually mine (although only partially). It was very much a right place right time kind of thing and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had as I know when it comes time to sell I’ll have the funds behind me to get a proper house (although that dream is a long way in the future I sense).

Before buying was even an idea in my mind I moved into a small two bed flat rental with my friend and although it wasn’t the nicest place and we only stayed for a year before I bought my flat I am so happy that I did do that. For a lot of people renting is their only option so how do you know what to look for in a landlord? Having the perfect landlord can make your experience enjoyable and comfortable while having a bad one can leave you miserable and generally unhappy when things break down etc.


Leading landlord and tenant insurance providers Homelet recently released some landlord advice books (viewable via )and they actually found from research that 86% of people were either very happy, quite happy or somewhat happy with their landlord or letting agent. Sadly it means that there are some people out there who aren’t happy with the service they’re provided for. When you’re a tenant you want your landlord to respond to queries quickly, arrange any repairs needed quickly and efficiently and generally be courteous and relaxed. Obviously they’re running a business and won’t be happy if you miss a month’s rent so it’s definitely a two sided relationship.

I was very lucky with my landlord at my first flat as they were very good and although we didn’t need any work doing when ever we communicated it was always a pleasant experience. We also didn’t have any of our deposit kept, although I think this was down to the fact that we did an epic clean of the flat and that they were planning a huge refurbishment after we left anyway. Here’s three reasons why I am so happy I experienced renting before moving into my own property:

Bullet Journal

You learn how to fund for yourself

In all honesty I was a bit spoilt at home and never really made to do any chores and it was only just before I moved out anyway that I started to pay my parents a small rent so when I moved into my flat it was a bit of a culture shock. You mean I have to wash and dry my own clothing? How does an iron work? What do all the nobs on the washing machine do? How often do you have to clean the toilet? These were all questions I genuinely had when I moved out (among others) and renting was a great way to get into good habits and work out how much you need to do when have your own place.

You learn how to manage money

Although I’ve always been pretty good at saving and prioritizing money moving out forces you to manage your money better as it’s not just a phone contract and a Netflix subscription you have to worry about. I learnt quickly on to create a separate bank account where on payday the money for the all the separate bills and rent I had to pay within a month was moved to this account and paid from there, it meant I knew exactly how much disposable money I had left over to live on.  I know too many people who are so poor the week leading up to payday and I never want to get like that so renting allows you learn to manage your money and be less frivolous.

You learn more about bills/ expenses

Before I moved out I knew the basics of bills but I didn’t know the full extent including things like council tax and TV licenses, and how electricity bills and water bills come in every few month’s so it’s better to pay a small direct debit every month so you’re not met with huge bills a few month’s down the line. It can be hard to work out exactly how much you have to pay every month but by renting before I bought somewhere I learnt all the monthly expenditure I would need to make to ensure I could afford everything and also manage them properly.

Have you had any particular good or bad experiences renting?

*This post was written in collaboration with Homelet but all words and opinions are my own

July 10, 2017
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  • Reply Robin Rue

    We rented before we bought our house. I think that this day in age, because it’s so expensive to buy a house, most people end up HAVING to rent first.

    July 11, 2017 at 10:12 am
  • Reply Angela Tolsma

    I’ve been a renter for 13 years? I’ve never lived in a city I wanted to stay in permanently, until recently so renting was definitely the best option. Understanding the expenses of renting is so important!

    July 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Melissa Chapman

    I think a young person starting out has a lot of issues to confront before buying. Location from work, saving up money for the down payment and stability of your job situation are all first and foremost.

    July 11, 2017 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Kansas Bonanno

    This is really a great post, I made the mistake of buying right out. Then my husband got sick and we ended up loosing our house and had to start everything over again. I think had we rented we would have been better prepared for the challenges ahead.

    July 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm
  • Reply kirst187

    I totally agree! Renting before you buy is so smart – renting gives you a chance to “grow up” a bit before you take the plunge, resulting in better choices and less severe consequences.

    July 12, 2017 at 4:39 am
  • Reply Carolyn

    I rented the whole time I was in my 20s and then when I was 30 decided to buy and am so glad I did. I could never get in the market if I had waited any longer. My opinion is to buy as as soon as you can afford it. But of course there are always exceptions.

    July 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm
  • Reply Jean Standley

    My now husband and I rented for around 18 months before buying our own house, and I’m so glad we did! Although we had already been together for around 7 years, I don’t think you truly know someone until you live with them. Whilst renting worked for us, I’m glad we now own our own property.

    July 12, 2017 at 6:13 pm
  • Reply Nelu

    For a 20-year-old millennial this is golden advice. I’m looking to leave home in the next year or two so it’s nice to know which option to go with.

    July 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm
  • Reply Alison R | So Chic Life

    Great advice for someone your age for sure! I was the queen of renting after moving out of my parent’s home. It does give you great perspective and teaches you a lot before buying.

    July 12, 2017 at 7:28 pm
  • Reply TheNewClassy

    That is exactly how I learned to manage money. I went out on my own at eighteen and I didn’t know a thing about finance. I quickly learned how to prioritize my money.

    July 12, 2017 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Cassie Tucker

    You make a really good argument for renting before owning a home. My husband always preferred to rent an apartment over buying a home.

    July 12, 2017 at 10:58 pm
  • Reply redheadmomblog

    We rent our house right now and it saves us a lot of money. We would love to buy a home someday, but when we’re financially ready.

    July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm
  • Reply Krystal // The Krystal Diaries

    This is really good advice. I actually never rented before but these are good tips for anyone moving out on their own for the first time.

    July 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm
  • Reply Blythe A.

    A good landlord is so important, but it can also spoil you for when you own your own place. It’s good to know how to fix some things yourself, as well as how much it might cost should you need to pay for it yourself.

    July 13, 2017 at 12:08 am
  • Reply Anvita - TheBellyRulesTheMind

    These are some great tips anybody looking to eventually buying a home.It’s great that you are a homeowner at an early age. you will reap the benefits later.

    July 13, 2017 at 3:17 am
  • Reply Gareth Torrance

    We’ve been renting for 4 years now, and have been saving money every month in order to get a deposit for a 100% ownership property… And it’s been a real struggle, but we’re almost there now! Yet, when reading this, I realise that you’re right, and we’ve probably gotten much better at managing our money than if we hadn’t had to rent first…

    July 13, 2017 at 6:59 am
  • Reply Natasha Mairs

    I wish I could afford my own house. We currently live in a house rented from the local housing association, but would love to own my own place one day

    July 13, 2017 at 9:07 am
  • Reply danasia

    I’m a big believer in renting as opposed to buying. Since I like to move around from city to city a lot, renting has allowed me that flexibility.

    July 13, 2017 at 9:41 am
  • Reply Savi and Vid

    Culdn’t agree with you more. We’ve rented for years now because it gives us the flexibility to move around

    July 13, 2017 at 11:34 am
  • Reply Becca Talbot

    I completely agree with this Rhian – when I rented in London I learnt how to budget, cook and clean for myself, and also how to save. I was very much of the mindset that I didn’t want to be paying someone else’s mortgage if I could afford my own. So I worked hard to climb the ranks in my job, so I could have a better salary, all the while saving for a deposit. Now I have my own flat in Reading, which is rented out – and I’m in the process of buying another house for me to live in! Exciting times ahead x

    July 13, 2017 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Jessica Wilby

    Couldn’t agree more. Renting gives you a sense of independence that squatting in your parent’s house could never offer. Expenses was the most important part for me because I’m useless with my finances in general. However, I’m so much better off having experienced such a steep learning curve!

    July 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Jennifer Eastwell

    I was going for a shared ownership property but the management company messed up so it didn’t go forward. I moved into my partners flat that he had bought outright so I just payed towards bills, service charge and ground rent. We bought our first house together a couple of months ago. I never rented beforehand.

    July 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Lynne Harper

    We have just moved back into a rental to try a new area out and have our old home up for rent. I think it’s a great way to dip your feet in without the massive financial commitments

    July 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm
  • Reply Jessica Lynn Martin

    My husband and I have been renting since we got married in 2009. We have had wonderful experiences with renting. We hope to buy a house soon, but I agree with your reasons to rent before buying. I definitely agree it helps you to manage your money better.

    July 13, 2017 at 7:20 pm
  • Reply CourtneyLynne Storms

    We rented several condos/apartments before owning our home. We had positive experiences for the most part. All of our landlords were there at a moments notice if anything went wrong, so I don’t have anything negative to say about renting

    July 14, 2017 at 12:54 am
  • Reply Lauretta

    Experience is a great teacher. Those are good reasons why you should try renting first before buying.

    July 14, 2017 at 2:22 am
  • Reply Angela Milnes

    I have rented for years since I left home at 19 and it is a huge learning curve and can set you up to prepare to buy in future. I hope one day we can own a mortgage!

    July 14, 2017 at 3:37 am
  • Reply Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    We have rented for 17 years and it’s been great and had mostly good experiences. But we have just bought a house and I am so ready to own my own place.

    July 14, 2017 at 9:28 am
  • Reply Being Ashleigh

    I still live at home, but think I would want to rent before buying… otherwise I will be living at home forever, saving up for a mortgage deposit!

    July 14, 2017 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Stephanie Merry

    I only ever rented at Uni, but you definitely learn a lot when you rent x

    July 14, 2017 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Baby Isabella

    My folks went from living with their parents straight into buying a house and getting on the property ladder before the crash. Thankfully it was the best thing they ever did and they were fortunate with the timing. It must be super hard these days to get a foot on the property ladder. Renting where we live is more expensive than having a mortgage!! Its crazy. 🙁

    July 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm
  • Reply Kira L Curtis

    I definitely think it’s the best way to gradually be at the right place before buying a house. I’m moving into a new student house just with my boyfriend soon, it’s still renting, but I guess it’s the next step 🙂

    July 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm
  • Reply Renée ♥ The Good Hearted Woman

    There is definitely a time in life when renting makes the most sense, for so many reasons. As you’ve pointed out, there is so much to learn about living on your own, and it can really help you figure out what you want and need in a long-term before plunging in.

    July 14, 2017 at 8:51 pm
  • Reply Leah Shafik

    I rented before I bought but I found it so expensive to rent – so hard to save. I ended up moving back in with my mum to save! x

    July 14, 2017 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply FussFreeJen

    I remember going to University when I was 18, and renting for the first time. A massive difference to living at home and having to plan my fiances at first was rather daunting. Then my son went off to Uni, three years ago, and I was a little worried. But he was great, and so sensible. Now it is my daughter’s turn, who is just about to move out. She surprised me by working out very carefully what it would cost and what she needed. No jumping in to it without knowing she could do it. Renting is ideal for her, as at the moment she is kind of in limbo with college and work, and not sure where she wants to be in a year’s time.

    July 15, 2017 at 8:10 am
  • Reply Nicol Wong

    ive always rented and am not ready to buy a house any time soon as I’m never in one place. the only bad experience i’ve encountered is with the estate agent themselves. bad service

    July 15, 2017 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply Ana De Jesus

    I completely agree with you. Renting before you buy not only teaches you the importance of budgeting but it also shows you how to manage your own home ! x

    July 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm
  • Reply mydreamality

    I’ve always rented, and have rented both here in the UK and the US. It’s a great way for people who like to, or need to move around to trial living in different locations before finding a set place to put down roots. It tends to be frowned upon a lot here in the UK, and that can make it a bit difficult to find good accommodation. It does teach you a lot of great lessons though. x

    July 16, 2017 at 7:38 pm
  • Reply Ayesha Farhad

    I have always rented! We might buy our own place next year hopefully! I absolutely agree about your landlord bit! Our first landlady was a nightmare and even a little chip in the wall would freak us out! Thankfully this time our landlord is a breeze!

    July 16, 2017 at 10:42 pm
  • Reply Evelina Vilke

    I would love to buy my own property but with prices in London I am not sure if I am ever going to be able to buy anything I would actually like. So at the moment renting is the only option for me.

    July 17, 2017 at 5:43 am
  • Reply Louise Smith

    These are all so true! We rented for 5 years before buying a house of our own. It really helps teach you how to stand on your own two feet 🙂

    Louise x

    July 25, 2017 at 1:15 am
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