Is Apartment Living Much Simpler Than Home Ownership?

I was thinking about this a lot the other day when listening to a friend talk about maintenance on his house. Seems like every single week there is something else that needs to be fixed, be replaced, or be added on to. The pipes break; the roof shingles come off, the wood under the porch needs replacing. Does it ever end? How much time and effort is spent just trying to keep the place from falling down? I think it might be way more than I am willing to put in were I to own my own home. Sure, it would be cool to own my own place. And I am sure, like most people, I will at some point. But I am starting to think that renting an apartment is definitely the path towards simple living and not away from it!

The only advantages I see to owning your own home include:

1. You can turn the stereo up loud
2. You can knock down walls
3. You can sell it in 40 years for a profit (hopefully)
4. Tax deductions (However, almost 50% of homeowners can’t even take them)

I get that those are all great reasons to own a house. Of course, you could rent a house instead of an apartment, and then you could eliminate #1 as a reason. :)

The reasons for renting an apartment seem much more… sensible:

1. Toilet breaks? Call a guy to fix it – for free
2. No lawn to maintain
3. No property taxes to pay
4. You can move anytime without worrying about selling it
5. You can go on vacation without too much worry about pipes/vandals/etc.
6. No risk in the real estate market
7. Insurance is cheaper
8. Monthly payments are always negotiable
9. Cheaper
10. More free time

Really, the only clear advantage of owning over renting is whatever profit you can make when you sell your house in the future. Other than that, the benefits of renting far outweigh the benefits of owning. By renting, I basically have all my free time (and money) to do whatever I want rather than worrying about maintenance/yard work/appreciation value/spending money on repairmen (or women). What do you think? Is renting an apartment a recipe for a much simpler life than owning your own home is?

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