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Renting or Owning Home with Children


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#1 baileybunny

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

Hi everyone,

I wanted to get your opinion on the pro's & con's between owning your own home when you have a family and renting with a family.

We have an 16 month old DS. We are expecting baby#2 in September, DS will be 2 years old then.

Currently we own our own home, and DS being an out of control boy, seems to throw toys at walls, ram his toy-car into things, put dirty marks everywhere, scratch the tiles, try and smash the glass door, etc. (lol), he sounds like a wild beast. He isn't one to sit and quietly watch tv, even though he gets play time out at daycare and goes for walks etc he is very 'active' in our rumpus room.

It doesn't help that our house was newly built when we moved into it, so brand new and has neutral white walls...that makes a lot of his dents and bangs stand out. We are currently considering selling our house and moving closer to the city/family (we live in the sticks ATM), but to do this we are no longer going to be able to own our own home, but instead will need to rent.

Having 2 little kiddies running around a rental house (and 2 dogs), is this going to be a recipe for disaster...obviously it comes down to parenting and supervision to stop them from causing significant damage to a house, but how does everyone go with their little ones? I'm sure there are strategies/ways to stop them damaging things. Or do you just plan to repair/repaint the rental when you leave to rectify the damage?? original.gif

Would you avoid renting at all costs with young babies/toddlers? Or is it not so bad and with a bit of effort and parenting you can make it alright?

#2 Fr0g

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

We rent with kids, and pets, and have never had to do any extra repairs and/ or maintenance than a home owner would.

We're renters, not Neanderthals.

#3 FeralCrazyMum

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:32 PM

Yes, I rent with my son. He's so far managed to avoid destroying the place, or even writing on the walls.

In all seriousness though, a new house with white walls is a bad fit with toddlers. An older house shows much less damage  biggrin.gif

Having animals in a rental property is much more problematic, especially if you want them indoors.

#4 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

We rent. It's no drama.


#5 BadCat

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

I can't imagine giving up owning for renting.

The convenience of living more centrally may well be offset by uncertainty.  I know several families right now who are having to move out of rental homes and are having difficulties finding somewhere else in their area.

Renting can be very difficult.

#6 LittleMissPink

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

We rent, the kids made a couple of accidental dings in the walls at our last place. I spackled, and found the closest paint in colour I could find and patched it up, then apologised to the landlord. All was good.

Landlords get that kids have accidents, or even adults (and sometimes they are not accidents at all), but as long as you leave the place as you found it, then most landlords are fairly reasonable. If you stain the carpet, have it cleaned or pay to replace. Damage a wall...fix it. Rip up the lawn....plant a new one before you leave. Common sense really.

#7 bebe12

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

only problem with renting can be that just when you are happy and settled the landlord sells.

Also need to factor in rental increases.

being near family might help in other ways ie you getting out a bit more as they can baby sit happy.gif

Either way you will make it work.

#8 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:16 AM

QUOTE (bebe12 @ 24/02/2013, 03:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
only problem with renting can be that just when you are happy and settled the landlord sells.


Exactly.

We moved from a unit we owned a couple of months before DS was born, to live in a house that we rented. That house was put under the market when I was heavily pregnant with DD, and we ended up having to househunt with a 2 year old and newborn. It was a nightmare.

We moved to another rental and, 3 years later, have recently told that it is also being put on the market, a week after DS started school for the first time. Now we have to find a new home in a tight market, and we have to try and find one that means we don't have to pull him out of this school, or DD out of her daycare centre.

So, two sales in 5 years. Stressful at the best of times, extremely stressful when you have kids to factor in.

We are trying to find a place to buy this time. There is no way I'm prepared to go through this upheaval again.

#9 Jane F. Jetson

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

QUOTE (FrogIsAFrogIsAFrog @ 24/02/2013, 03:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We rent with kids, and pets, and have never had to do any extra repairs and/ or maintenance than a home owner would.

We're renters, not Neanderthals.


It did seem harder for us to get a rental with a kid, though, and I've certainly read enough to suspect that some landlords and real estate agents do assume renters with kids are more likely to trash the place. That's about other people's perceptions though, not about how clean or careful we or other renters were or are.

That said, 5 years at our last place with two little children (budding artists as well) and no dings or crayon on the walls, and we got our entire bond back, so of course it's doable. That said, I'd have to be dragged kicking and screaming back to renting for reasons of stability and not having to treat the crayons like contraband.

#10 Cranky Kitten

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:32 AM

Renting with kids is do-able, but not preferable. DS is 15 months and has already managed to break a window that we needed to have repaired, knock a chip out of the wall that we'll have to spak-fill and paint over before we leave and we bought a carpet shampooer to keep on top of the carpets.

PP are also correct about the uncertainty - if you get a long term rental with a good r/e or landlord it can be fantastic, but having your house sold out from under you is incredibly stressful, as is having a less than stellar r/e. How will you handle having somebody come into your house every 3 months to inspect how you're keeping the place? Will you have a decent one who understands that kids leave mess, or will you get one that'll give you a hard time for toys laying around and a few dishes on the sink?

On the plus side, you have the flexibility to move as your needs change, and don't have to worry about most property repairs.

#11 Littleone84

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:36 AM

Am i reading this wrong, but are you asking whether you should rent someone elses older house because it wont matter if your son damages it?

Opposed to living in your brand new home and having to repair what he damages?

Instead of worrying about whehter you rent or own, perhaps you need to address how your son plays with his toys. Have inside toys and outside toys and supervise him so that he doesnt throw toys at the walls and dent them.

#12 Sif

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:42 AM

Well, we rent (no choice), and my children have drawn on walls, and in fact, two toddlers broke two windows in two different rental properties, and it is our responsibility to leave the house in as good condition as we found it (minor wear and tear is acceptable, but that does NOT include toddler murals, broken windows, holes in walls or doors, ruined carpets etc.).

We treat our rental properties with the same respect we would treat a home we owned.

So, I really don't understand your question. It's not less stressful to rent with children, if anything, it's more stressful because we are acutely aware that this is NOT OUR HOUSE.

#13 blondie82

Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:54 AM

QUOTE (CrazySingleMum @ 24/02/2013, 03:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Having animals in a rental property is much more problematic, especially if you want them indoors.


I actually disagree with the above quote.

I currently rent with a 3 year old, 2 year old and 2 small indoor dogs. By far, the 2 children are more problematic. Bikes running into walls, "artwork" on the walls, drinks/food stains on the carpet. The dogs are house trained and are both 9 years old so getting into their senior years and spend most of their time sleeping  wink.gif

I spend most of my time getting stressed about the state of the house because I know it's not mine.

We are currently in the process of moving back into the house we own (it is currently rented out) and I can't wait! Together with the above, there is also the stress that a letter will turn up in our mailbox one day asking for us to move out as the place is being sold/owners want to move back in etc etc.

#14 FeralBob!

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE (Littleone84 @ 26/02/2013, 10:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Am i reading this wrong, but are you asking whether you should rent someone elses older house because it wont matter if your son damages it?

No, my reading of it is that the OP would like to be closer to family and friends, and renting is the only way to achieve this, presumably because property prices are too high.

If I could, I would prefer to own rather than rent with children. Mainly because, as Ferret pointed out, the instability that occurs when your home is sold from underneath you by the landlord is that much worse when you have small kids that can be negatively affected by it.

#15 Feral timtam

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:16 AM

No freaking way will I go back to renting if I have any choice. I have in fact turned down several job offers because they would require me to move back to a rental.

We had a property sold on us, we had 30 days to find a new place to live and in that time only 2 properties came onto the market in the area. We were able to get one of them as we had a 10 year immaculate record at the place that got sold on us, but we didn't get the keys to it until the day we had to be out of our old place. Could you imagine doing that with small kids? It was hard enough with only adults in the household!


#16 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

We rent out of financial necessity at the moment, but given the choice, I would much prefer to own. I cant let my kids play with play dough anywhere else except the kitchen, because the rest of the house (excluding the bathroom) is carpeted (albeit with the original disgusting carpet, at least 25 years old which really annoys me).

Crayons and textas are closely monitored, and I have to shampoo the carpets weekly (we bought a vax) because toilet training in a carpeted house is a nightmare.

If you rent with young kids, you have to be prepared to spend a little bit in repairs. For instance, my daughter once got underfoot of my husband, and he fell over and smashed his elbow into the wall. Immediately, we called the REA and asked who we could get to repair it, at our expense of course.

And my kids aren't even that boisterous, its just a fact that kids can be really really messy at the best of times. And it would be really sad to not allow them to draw or do creative things.

As much as I consider this my HOME, it is also someone else's investment and I try and overlook the fact that they obviously don't care about maintaining this property, I still aim to leave it in the condition we found it in (probably better, because we have had to replace screens and tap handles that should have been fixed by the owners, but that's another thread entirely).

So like I said, if I had the choice, I would keep my house.



#17 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

We have been renting for the past 4 years (4 years ago, with a newborn and a 2 yo).  It's fine.

But we have also owned our own place too.

If you are going to rent with young kids, don't rent a brand new house.  That was a nightmare, LOL!  Pick a place that has been 'broken in' so to speak.  That way, when you move after a few years, the agent won't be expecting it to be left in a brand new condition (which is what happened with us.  Thankfully the LL himself was much more reasonable and recognised wear and tear for what it was & didn't accuse us of damaging the property like the agent did).

When renting, we are very aware of the condition of the property and often repair things immediately that we might be a little less vigilant about if it were our own propertly, if that makes sense.

But for now, renting suits us, financially and in terms of lifestyle.  We have a good LL though, that helps a lot.  We will build/buy soon, but we're not in a desperate hurry.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 26 February 2013 - 11:04 AM.





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