Should you be embarrassed about renting your home?


[shared by Purplemum]I rent my house, a fact which honestly I am a little embarrassed about. I didn’t get round to buying my own home at a time when it would have been more possible. At a time when we could buy something small and cheap with less regard for area and local schools, in order to get on the ladder.

I didn’t do it then because I was working as a circus artist, an industry in which attaching yourself to an area and property is not desirable.That lifestyle is about freedom and living outside of normal society, not looking to be average or mainstream, and buying a house wasn’t on my list of things to do. So I suppose my situation is off my own making but like most young people I couldn’t imagine a future me with children and responsibilities.

Now I am thirty something with three children and mental health issues. I crave stability and routine, I avoid change. Renting your home doesn’t provide stability, and the idea that I can be asked to leave my home at any time is a struggle. I have found a home I love in an area I’m comfortable in, a community I fit into and a great school for my children. I don’t like living with the idea that I may not be able to stay here.

Rents are rising rapidly and we may not be able to afford to rent in this area long term. My landlady plans to sell when the market is healthier, and I’m not sure what then. I have no deposit and no way of saving one, so buying is probably not an option. Whenever I think about it I feel overwhelmed.

For me owning my own home, preferably this home, would be less about money and savings and more about being able to stay put. To settle down, and to have a home that my children can grow up in.

Unfortunately for me, and for many other potential first time buyers in my position, that isn’t to be and I will have to get used to a lifetime of renting. I will need to try and get my head around frequent address changes and try and base my stability of mind on something other than my home.

I’m sorry if this post has felt a little like a pity party, I know that I’m more fortunate than a lot of people in the world. I will try to focus on what I have not what I don’t have. I just needed to put this out there and empty my head of it because it has been swirling round and round driving me crazy. Perhaps if I have shared I can move on with life and stop wishing for something that isn’t possible right now.

What do you think, is renting for ever insane or is it the way things will be for a generation for whom housing has become unrealistically expensive?

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Discussion11 Comments

  1. I think, personally, that renting is literally burning money; but like you say, for so many people there isn’t another way to keep a roof over their heads. We rented earlier on in life and, although were without children the sense of instability was at the forefront of my mid especially when 6 month contracts overrode 12 months.

    • I guess I don’t see it as burning money, it does pay for a roof over your head after all. It is frustrating though to be contributing towards someone else’s savings.

  2. Really good post. I am in the same boat. Private renting means not only no stability for children, but also means its difficult to make a home feel like home. We cant decorate our kids rooms, and tread on egg shells when doing normal things like messy play for fear of ruining someone elses carpet. Our children can never have pets. On top of that we are finding rent is soaring and landlords are sometimes refusing to rent to families.

    At least we are not smokers, or we would be homeless.

    I would just like a family home.

    • I hear that. Honestly though try not to worry so much about making mess etc, obviously respect the property but also a certain amount of wear and tear must be acceptable when you have ‘lived’ somewhere.

  3. We must be very lucky, we’ve got a beautiful house that we could never afford to buy, the landlord is happy for us to decorate, we’ve got our cat, and the rental price is very reasonable really. Renting in the UK is becoming more commonplace and there is no shame in it. We don’t feel like we’ve got to ‘tread on egg shells’, you just have to respect your (or the landlords!) property. If we make a mess on the carpet, we clean it, or run the VAX over it, I’d do that if I owned the house!

    We were slightly concerned when we were told we could only have a 6 month contract, but we were honest with the agent and told them we wanted something long term. They spoke to the landlord, who was happy to let us renew on a 12 month basis, so we do.

    I do like the flexibility of it all, if we have rubbish neighbours move in next door, we can just move with relatively little upheaval. You can’t really do that if you’ve bought somewhere!

    • Thats great that you are so sorted. Perhaps I’m being too twitchy but for me the twelve months contract doesn’t feel stable enough.

  4. We rent, living in the South means unless you have a very well paid job you just can’t afford to buy. Like you I had a mis-spent (but great fun!) youth in the entertainment world, making enough to live on, but no savings. I wish we could buy as I do worry about being given short notice to move. We are starting to be priced out of renting anywhere nice now too- it’s crazy how expensive it can be.

    • It sounds like we are in the same boat! I am also in the south and also being priced out of the nicer areas. No consolation but it does help knowing I’m not alone.

  5. I don’t think there should be shame in renting but I agree with the stability issue.

    We ere in our place for 3 years and felt settled and happy there but got served notice in May. Renting in our area is stupidly expensive and given that I now find myself needing Housing benefit I have not found anywhere else to rent. We are now going through the homeless application with the council which is not fun!

    But I can’t see myself ever being happy to rent privately again. I don’t think I will ever feel safe again.

  6. yes it is the lack of stability. we had a house sold from under us and given 9 weeks to get out. tried the council but due to age of our kids we needed 4 bedrooms and they had none so offered to take kids onto care and put us up in a hostel….hardly ideal.
    last house we had been in for 6 years but was given 3 months to quit by landlord. we are month to month here.
    I would like to move to somewhere cheaper but need 2 months up front as a deposit and I have no way of raising that.
    Im not embarrassed to rent. at least if anything goes wrong it is not up to me to sort it out. We not allowed to decorate here and also refused to allow us to change the horrible carpet.
    Yes I would like my own house but its never going to happen. There just are not enough council houses out there. Our list here is approx 19 years long….what are you suppose to do?