Are you looking to move out of your parents’ house for the first time? Are you looking for your first place to truly call your own after being away at college? Regardless of where you’re at in your life, you may be considering a rental property as your next place of residence.

You can rent nearly any type of property whether it’s an apartment, a condo, a townhouse or a home. It’s important to do your research on the property you wish to rent though.

You need to make sure it’s in a good location compared to your work–and in a good area in general. You should make sure the residence comes with the amenities you need to live your best life. If it’s a residence in a complex, like an apartment, you should look up online reviews to see what other people’s opinions are about living there.

You should also do your research into whether or not renting is the best option for you. Buying a home could be in your best interest, but you don’t know for sure until you do your research. If you’re on the fence about what you should do when it comes to moving into your next residence, then you should consider the pros and cons to renting a property.

The Pros of Renting

Finances

A major pro to renting is you don’t need a large sum of money up-front in order to secure your residence. This is also known as a down payment. Typically, down payments are $10,000 or more and are paid when you’re purchasing a home.

Now, each rental agreement can vary, but the most you may need to pay up-front at the time of signing your rental lease is a security deposit. Typically, a security deposit will be less than or equal to one month’s rent, which is significantly less than what a down payment on a house would be.

Another pro to renting is you don’t have to acquire a very involved insurance policy. You can get a basic renters’ insurance policy from your preferred insurance provider and call it a day. Your landlord would then have to be the one responsible for footing the bill for other types of insurance on the property.

Having renters’ insurance is always a good idea, just like any type of insurance, though some residences may not require you to have it. This can save you a little bit of money each month as well.

Convenience

To go along with the insurance point, your landlord will typically be the one who takes care of repairs and maintenance issues on your residence, especially if you decide to rent an apartment. That means you’re not responsible for taking care of any plumbing issues that may arise–though make sure you alert your landlord if they occur!—or any shoveling that may need to be done–especially in common areas—or any mechanical issues that may arise with your rental unit’s HVAC system.

You may not even have to worry about mowing the grass if you’re in a complex, though if you’re renting a home, you may be responsible for this.

It’s important to ask your landlord or read your contract to see what items the landlord deems you responsible for upkeeping and maintaining, but most of the responsibilities should fall on the landlord.

Additionally, it’s a lot more convenient and easier to get out of a lease when you rent a property instead of trying to sell a property.

If you’re ready to get out of your rental before your lease is up, you can find someone to sublease in your place until the lease is officially over. You may be responsible for this person or it may be your landlord’s responsibility, so read your lease to see what the terms are.

If you see out your lease and don’t decide to leave until it has expired, then no skin off your nose when you go to move. You don’t have to worry about selling anything. You can essentially just pack up and leave. This is very convenient compared to having to sell a property once you’re done living there.

Personality

Are you not big into decorating? Do you not consider yourself to be a very creative person? Then you’re in luck as a major pro to renting is you don’t have to put too much effort into making your residence your own because, quite frankly, you can’t.

When you rent a property, you’re not able to paint the walls the colors you want. You can’t do any major remodeling of the kitchen or the bathroom. You can’t tear up the carpet and put in hardwood floors. Sometimes, you’re not even allowed to put holes in the walls to hang things up when you’re renting a property. What you rent is what you get and you can’t change it.

If you’re perfectly fine with however your rental unit looks already and if you weren’t looking forward to decorating your unit anyway, you’ll enjoy not having either as an option when you rent.

The Cons of Renting

Finances

The major con to renting is you’re not building up any equity by paying your rent each month. You’re essentially throwing money out the window just to live in an establishment. If you had purchased a property and you were making your monthly mortgage payments, you would be building equity and chasing the end goal of outright owning the property yourself at the end of your mortgage. With renting, you’re not doing any of that to benefit your financial future.

An additional giant con to renting is your rent could rise with every lease you sign, especially if you re-up your lease on a yearly basis. Depending on how much your monthly rent goes up, it could become more cost efficient to look at options to buy properties instead of continuing to rent.

Convenience

Along with your rent potentially going up annually, a con to renting is the fact you have to re-sign your lease after a set amount of time. Typically, leases last for one year, though there may be other situations where you can sign leases for a longer amount of time.

Regardless, you have to be cognizant of when your lease is up and then you have to set aside time to meet with your landlord so you can sign a new lease. If you were to buy a property, you would only go through the signing process once when you first purchase the property.

Personality

If you consider yourself to be a creative person and love to do projects around your home, renting may not be for you. As mentioned before, when you rent, you cannot make major interior changes to your living space. This may drive you crazy if you’re not a fan of how the interior of your rental unit looks.

You also may not be able to decorate the way you would like. If you had plans to hang big, heavy objects on the walls that would require heavy duty nails to support the object, your landlord most likely won’t let you put the necessary holes in the wall.

If you’re a big fan of candles, you may not be able to burn them. Most leases explicitly say you’re prohibited from burning candles in your apartment. You could even be subject to fines if you’re caught with candles in your apartment.

Additionally, when you rent a residence, your pets may be subject to weight or breed restrictions. For example, many apartments have a maximum 100 lbs.-weight limit for dogs. If you love big dogs like Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Newfoundlands that easily reach well over 100 lbs. before they’re full grown, you either are forced to not rent or you’re going to be hunting far and wide for an apartment complex that will allow giant breed dogs to live there.

If you were to buy your own home, unless your Homeowners Association or town has some type of restriction, you would be able to bring home any type of dog you could ever want.

What About Rent-To-Own?

On the flip side of everything, a rent-to-own agreement may be the agreement that works best for your personal needs. You could be able to get the best of both worlds as you would first lease the property you’re living on and then you would buy it once your lease expires. While you would have to adhere to renters’ rules for a little bit, you would then be able to customize your space to how you want it once you purchase the property.

These are just a few of the pros and cons to renting a property. The best advice anyone can receive when they’re looking to set off and live on their own is to do as much research as possible to see what type of living situation will best fit your needs and your lifestyle.