One More Year of Renting

Posted by in Articles, personal finance | 28 comments

With my lease renewal just around the corner, I’m reminded that I haven’t yet acquired my goal of home ownership. Now, this isn’t a bad thing as I’m not quite sure where I want to live within the next 3 years. I’d rather rent one more year (or two or three) than purchase a house and have no other choice than to stay put. Renting gives me a few options: 1. I can move to where the jobs are and 2. I can move someplace a little cheaper. Notice though that the word ‘move’ is inserted into both choices.

I personally don’t like moving. It requires a lot of planning, organization, and heavy lifting even if I do hire movers to help. The last time we moved, it took two large U-Haul trucks and three guys. Thankfully, Mr. LH and I have sorted through our personal items and sold a lot of things we no longer use or need. That limits the amount of storage we need. It also means that the next big move should be easier.

Since I’m anticipating a move in the next two to three years, and one in which the distance might be greater than anything in the past, moving pods might be the easiest way to relocate. Basically, I’d fill up large containers with my boxes and let a moving truck come and pick them up at my convenience. Once they’ve been moved to my new home, I can unpack them on my own time and schedule a pick up when I’m finished. It takes the rush out of moving and gives me a little extra storage while I resort through my belongings.

Believe me, the idea of moving isn’t fun, which is why I’m staying put a couple ofย  more years. But, home ownership is still a goal I will accomplish in the near future, which means a move is inevitable. Any tips to help alleviate the stress of moving are always welcome.

What tips would you suggest?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Heather

    When I moved across the country, I shipped everything that didn’t fit in my car. Basically, every single thing I owned was scrutinized through the lens of “Is this worth what it’s going to cost to ship it?” The answer to many, many things was NO.

    Of course, at the time, I had no “real” furniture. I think even with furniture, though, I’d be inclined to try to sell it before I moved it a great distance…

    • Little House

      @Heather – Analyzing our belonging every few years when we move (which has been averaging about every 4 to 5 years) and deciding if it’s worth packing or not has been our strategy as well. However, I notice that the older we get, the more things tag along. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. krantcents

    Rhe last few moves I used professional movers. Well wortht he cost in the long run. Moving from an apartment to a home will not cost that much and relieve the stress.

    • Little House

      @Krantcents – That’s true, especially if it would be a “final” move or at least one in which we’d be living in the next location for many years to come. Then it would be well worth the cost of hiring movers!

  3. retirebyforty

    I haven’t had to move a long distance for a long time. When I graduated from college and moved, I only had a few things and it wasn’t that difficult. I don’t know what I would do if we have to move now. I would probably sell most everything through craigslist and buy it again when we get there.

    • Little House

      @Retire by 40 – Over the past few years, Mr. LH and I have acquired some very nice furniture pieces that I don’t think we’d be so quick to part with, like our bedroom furniture! It seems that the older we get, the more refined our taste becomes and we carefully select pieces we hope to keep for many years. Of course that just means more items to pack and haul next time we move. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. My University Money

    It’s interesting how aware of our shortcomings we are, and how we can take our strengths for granted. I have never thought of using professional movers since I’m a pretty big guy. I’m not saying I’m Hulk Hogan or anything, but my brother and I are both north of 230 and we are fairly active, so when it comes to moving we’re pretty efficient. I never realized how much of an advantage it was. I too have a phobia of moving, and that’s why buying a house was so nice. I also don’t dread paying my mortgage, because about 50% of my payment is going to me now, instead of to someone else like when I was renting.

    My tip would be to keep all your receipts from the move since there are a bunch of tax deductions that I took advantage of.

    • Little House

      @My University Money – It must be a great feeling knowing you won’t be moving anytime soon. Of course it helps that you’re really handy and can lift things. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good to know about the tax deductions for the next time I move.

  5. Kris @ Everyday Tips

    You gotta use movers, I don’t even think I would ever consider moving myself ever again.

    There is nothing wrong with renting another year. The only negative might be if the housing market has bottomed out, you may end up paying more for that same house a year later. Hard to know when a market has bottomed though, it can be like catching a falling knife.

    • Little House

      @Kris – The timing to buy a house is really good right now like you mentioned. My only problem is that I’m not sure where I’ll end up with a job. Teaching jobs are few and far between right now but there seems to be more in the Northern part of CA near the bay area. I’m going to be applying for just about anything, so that will really determine where I move. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

    I too used movers when I moved. Not only did I not want my family and friends getting hurt but I also wanted to make sure stuff didn’t get dropped and walls didn’t get scratched. They are definitely worth saving yourself these hassles. As far as renting one more year, don’t worry about it. I think the housing market will still be low a year from now.

    • Little House

      @Miss T – In our last move, we used a few friends and nothing got broken or scratched, but we’re just tired of doing it ourselves. Our next move we’ll hire professionals!

  7. MoneyCone

    I sold some stuff and used movers. But shop around. Some quote ridiculous prices!

  8. Hunter @ Financially Consumed

    Lucky for us, the Navy comes into our house, wraps and packs everything, and then unpacks and unwraps everything at our new home…yes, we’re completely spoiled. I would avoid storage costs if possible, it doesn’t sound like like you’re a hoarder! Renting is perfectly fine, until you have found the right house, in the right city, and you are prepared financial to assume a mortgage. I think you’re right on track.

    • Little House

      @Hunter – That’s nice of them to pack, ship, and unpack for you. However, do you have to move every 3 years? My step brother retired from the Marines a few years ago and they were finally able to settle down in one spot. I think the moving every three years got old. But, there were some perks – like seeing new places and travel.

  9. Barb Friedberg

    Definitely agree with your thinking. Pods are a good idea. Never buy a house if you might move within 5 years. You are doing great.

    • Little House

      @Barb – Thanks for that tip. I hope you like your new place. I’ve been a bit absent these past two months from reading many of my favorite blogs due to school. Hopefully in December, I’ll have more time!

  10. Evan

    I have to say too that I utilized movers when I moved. Not only did I not want my family and buddies getting harm but I also needed to make sure things did not get dropped and partitions didnโ€™t get scratched. They are definitely really worth saving yourself these hassles. As much as renting one much more year, donโ€™t worry about it. I think the housing marketplace will still be reduced a year from now.

  11. Jon -- Free Money Wisdom

    Yeah, my fiancee and I are facing the troubles of our upcoming move. She is moving from MS and I will be moving out of my current rental to an apartment or condo for us. We’ll have to travel cross-country to California from MS. I think the only thing that is consoling us is the fact that we’ll get to go on some adventures as newlyweds. Other than that…we’re both dreading the move.

    • Little House

      @Jon – You’re moving from MS to CA? That’s quite the move – both geographically and culturally. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Is it work related? Just a heads up, CA is about twice as expensive as MS (or more.) Let me know if you’re moving to the Los Angeles area. It’s always more comforting if you have acquaintances in the new locale.

  12. Candice

    It’s true that moving isn’t fun because of a lot of things to be taking care of. But what’s important in moving in is when you have your own house and your not renting anymore.

  13. Christa

    I actually love to move because I am forced to organize and reasses some possessions. Both of the times my husband and I moved cross country, we had to pare down our belongings to the most necessary items and sell or donate the rest. We recently comtemplated another big move, and I was really excited for a while…but we decided to stay put. I think it may just be time to reorganize!

  14. Tony @ Investorz Blog

    I believe owning a home isn’t as much of a financial benefit, as a psychological benefit. Just knowing that you live in something YOU OWN gives me a feeling of warmth and pride.

    • Little House

      @Tony – I’ve crunched some numbers using multiple calculators and owning does have its advantages in the long run – usually after year 10. My goal is to own a home so that by retirement I won’t have a mortgage or rental payment – that’s the goal at least.

  15. Evan

    Moving is TERRIBLE.

    I think you guys made the right choice most people don’t realize that in today’s real estate market it is unlikely that you’d get back your closing costs in a couple years.

  16. First Gen American

    Everyone has their clutter vice. Purging is a must do and start now. I would pick your one dark master and make an aggressive goal to cut that pile in 1/2 or more. For us, it’s books. If we ever move again, I would insist on getting rid of at least 1/2 of them. I have 7 bookcases full of books, and I can’t tell you how many comics my husband has.


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