The True Cost of Ownership: 3 Benefits of a Rental Lifestyle

Regardless of your life stage, renting allows you to move freely without the burdens of ownership. Many people today are opting for a rental lifestyle—deciding to rent everything from their home and furnishings to less conventional items like clothing and accessories. Let’s look at some of the benefits of embracing the rental lifestyle, which includes everything from saving money to saving the environment. 

1. Save money

Saving money is always a benefit, and renting can often be the better choice for your bank account. Renting your home, your furniture, and even daily essentials can often be the more sensible financial choice. But how can you decide if renting is best for your situation?

Rent your home

The price of buying a home has skyrocketed in recent years, with the average price of a home in the U.S. reaching $453,700 in 2021. With a 20% down payment required for most home purchases, you’d need almost $100,000 just to be able to move into a home you own. For many, such a massive cash outlay is simply impossible. 

While the initial down payment may be the deciding factor for you, there are many other nuances when deciding to buy a house or condo or rent an apartment. There are rent or buy calculators available to help you decide what makes the most sense for your situation, but a good rule of thumb to reference is the 5% rule for renting versus buying. To use this method:

  • Multiply the value of the home you want to buy by 5%
  • Divide that number by 12

The number you come up with is the breakeven point, where renting would be financially equivalent to buying.

For example, say the home you want to buy is slightly above the U.S. average, at $500,000.

  • $500,000 x .05  = $25,000
  • 25,000 / 12 = $2,083.

In this case, if you could find a similar home to rent for $2,083 or less per month, renting would actually save you money in the long run.

Rent your furniture

If you move often, then the question of whether to rent or buy furniture is simple. Put simply, renting furniture is likely the most cost-effective option for you. Temporary moves are among the most commonly cited reasons for renting furniture, and when you look at the cost of moving it’s easy to see why. Moving furniture from one place to another can cost you from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. In other words, renting furniture for a temporary move can often cost less than moving what you already own…and then having to move it back.

Rent everyday items

There are a variety of other things you can rent that are usually less expensive to rent than buy. Not only can you save money, but by renting, you can enjoy the benefits of minimalism. Just think how organized your home will be if you don’t have to find (or pay for) storage for the following items:

  • Housewares
  • Appliances
  • Linens

2. Save time

“Time is money,” as the old saying goes. When renting—whether it be your home, furniture, or smaller items—you can often save both.

Rent your home

If the potential for saving money wasn’t enough to convince you that renting your home could be a good option for you, think about how much time you could save. On average, it takes about 4.5 months to purchase a home—if you’re able to find one you can afford. On top of that, you’ll have to wait 30-45 days to close once it’s under contract. On the other hand, the average time to rent a home is only 30-60 days. If you need to move quickly, renting can save you from an extended wait and let you get on with your life. Not to mention, once you’re in your new rented space, you likely don’t have to worry about maintenance. The owner will take care of leaky faucets and finicky air conditioners for you.

Rent your furniture

When time is of the essence the last thing you want to do is try to find affordable furniture. If you quickly need to start a new job in a new city or move to a new place to start or continue your studies, there are plenty of other things requiring your attention. By renting your furniture, you can save yourself the hassle of either moving the furniture you already have or combing through big box furniture stores and online catalogs. And when you rent, you can save time and spare yourself the very real struggle of putting furniture (back) together. When you rent furniture, you can get it delivered and set up at the time you want, and you don’t even have to pick up a single Allen wrench.

Rent everyday items

As with your home and your furniture, renting smaller, everyday items can also be a timesaver. One of the most wonderful things about renting, or subscribing, to streaming entertainment is that you don’t have to get in your car to go to a store and search for movies and TV shows that you and your family will all enjoy. You can simply turn on the TV and search from the comfort of your (possibly rented) sofa. The same is true for clothing. Clothing subscription services actually pick out the items you’ll like and send them to you, saving you the hassle of combing through racks of clothing.

3. Save the world

Renting can free up cash and save time for the things and activities you’re passionate about, and it can also help you keep a clear conscience. Renting can often be the more sustainable way to consume everything from furniture to your clothing.

Rent your home

Renting a home, apartment, condo or another existing dwelling can reduce your carbon footprint compared to building new — new builds require great sums of energy in the form of shipping materials and construction itself. Apartment living with shared walls can reduce the energy needed to cool and heat your home, therefore reducing your energy bill and carbon footprint. Then there’s the fact that it’s often easier to rent than buy a home near where you work. By shortening your commute, you’ll use less gas and create less pollution.

Rent your furniture

You might not realize it, but renting furniture rather than purchasing brand new pieces is actually beneficial for the environment. Compared to a traditional furniture retail model, the rental model produces fewer greenhouse gasses (GHGs), which according to The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, endanger people’s health. When durable furniture pieces are rented multiple times and well maintained throughout the process, it ensures their longevity and reduces the waste of natural resources. Renting furniture guarantees that those who only need furniture temporarily don’t purchase it and then throw it away. As a result, renting furniture can actually save 368,862 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year.

Rent everyday items

Renting other, smaller items, can also be beneficial for the environment. If you’ve asked yourself whether you should rent or buy textbooks, the environmental impact might be the deciding factor. By renting and reusing any book,, you can spare a few trees that would otherwise need to be cut down—and if you go digital, even better! Meanwhile, renting clothing is also more sustainable. By renting rather than buying brand new items, you can reduce the number of textiles that go into landfills, which in 2018 stood at more than 11 million tons worth of clothing waste. Renting furniture and household goods reduces emissions that stem from shipping or moving. Likewise, by renting things like sporting goods and power tools to use only when you need them, you reduce the number of natural resources that are needed to produce and ship newly made items. 

Embrace the Freedom of a Rental Lifestyle with CORT 

Ready to experience the freedom of owning less and living more? CORT Furniture Rental is here to help you discover Furniture on Your Terms™. Create a customized package of stylish, durable furniture and decor that suits your style and your needs. Browse our selection of furniture and decor online today or visit your local CORT showroom to work with one of our designers.


Find your style