Why Renting Is Back In Fashion
Game-changing legislations might have changed the atmosphere for better, but it may still take a while before things are back on track in the world of real estate. In the meantime, landlords are seeing an upshot in demand for their properties as prospective home buyers are deferring their plans to invest. By the look of it, unaffordability looks like the single-biggest factor owing to which people have to stay a tenant. However, a new, unmistakable, trend is also emerging ─ People are not renting homes because they have to do so; people are renting homes because they choose to do so.
Now arises the obvious question ─ Why would someone choose to rent a house than own one? Is renting not just a waste of money? With every equated monthly installment (EMI) payment, a borrower gets closer to ownership. Your money rent goes into the pockets of your landlord without bringing much to you. Living in your own home means security and freedom. You do not run the risk that someone might tell you to vacate the premises next month—this is security. You can do what you like in your home without anyone telling you this or that cannot be done —this is freedom. Additionally, you own an asset, which is much valued in our society, the monetary benefits of the asset notwithstanding.
Today’s youth, at least some of them, beg to differ. What is seen as freedom and security according to conventional wisdom might mean exactly the opposite, too, they believe.
“If I do not like the neighbourhood, I can quickly shift to another rented accommodation. You do not have that kind of liberty when the house belongs to you. When you go home buying, you cannot afford to go wrong in any manner. It is only renting where you can afford that kind of freedom. We, as a matter of fact, are humans and are prone to making mistakes. Keeping that in mind, renting is preferable,” says Radhika Jha, a 29-year-old media professional, based in Mumbai.
The unfailing co-existence of property ownership and security may also be over-hyped, opine the young renters.
“I avoid all confrontational situations at office. Because I have taken a home loan and have to pay a monthly EMI, I cannot lose my job at any cost. In case an untoward situation arises and I end up unemployed, I will default on my loan. House ownership in my case does not mean feeling secure till I am done paying the loan. There is always this looming fear of doing something wrong that might derail all my plans,” says Abhinav Rajpur, 35, a Gurgaon-based software engineer.
And then, there is the very basic question. Most of us, especially migrants who have come to big cities to earn a living, cannot afford a house without assistance from financial institutions. These financial institutions will only be lending us money based on our monthly take-home salary. Now, let us assume that all went fine, and we did buy a house. What are we to do in case we find a better job in another city? Will it be financially viable to take up the job, rent an accommodation in the new city and put our own home on rent?
“In several ways, property ownership curbs your freedom. Two years back, I moved from Delhi to Mumbai because I got a better job offer. In case I had a home to take care of in Delhi before moving to Mumbai, I may have decided to let go of the job offer. That would certainly have been detrimental to my professional growth,” says Jha.
Renting, too, has a great deal of freedom and security to offer, it seems.