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What’s wrong with renting?

Why is the ratio of renters to owners always under scrutiny? I don't understand why the Government and the media are obsessed with getting everyone to own their own home.

I’m not just saying this because I want there to be more tenants around to rent my houses. I’m not so egotistic or naïve to believe that this blog would have that effect!

Today’s world is very different from the one that existed when Margaret Thatcher campaigned to ensure we owned the roofs over our heads. Technology today allows us to see and even interact with far flung places from the comfort of our own sofas. Desire is therefore born to go and visit these places and travel the world. And you can’t do that as easily as you can when you’re renting can you?

We can also work from home much more easily these days. And ‘home’ in this context means ‘anywhere’. So, if you don’t need to live near work, why not move around the country? Or if you’re a little more brave, to a different country altogether? My brother is testament to this as he works towards being able to run a business from anywhere he chooses.

Our lifestyles have changed since Thatcherism, and I think our attitudes need to adjust to match. Just see the pace of life across the continent, of people who are not just working to pay their mortgages (let’s not forget that ‘mortgage’ is just a fancy word for ‘loan’), who focus on family and mealtimes for example as their source of recognition and pride, rather than the false reward of striving to ‘one day’ be mortgage-free.

I say, before buying a house, examine your current and future lifestyle (and your partner’s) to check that tying yourself into a lifetime of debt matches your life goals.

Nicholas Stott

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