Thursday, August 31, 2006

Low Rent Living

Moving into a new country and a new city one of the first decisions that you need to make is renting a house. This rant is my experience with dealing with Indian students only!

When I moved into Adelaide almost 18 months back I started living with a couple of Indian students. In the next two months I met many people, saw their houses and at the end decided to rent a subsidized university accomodation in an 'Ok' suburb.

My wife was happy with my decision and after a year, we moved a leg up into a slightly bigger house but still a low rent subsidized housing but now in a better suburb (whatever that means).

Our campus was located in the city to enable part-timers to come from work to school. Some of the students decided to stay near to the City (the CBD) which would enable them to access the university easily and use the Uni provided transport.

This meant paying higher rent every week for 100 weeks.

My simple calculation was that, house rent was a fixed expense. And due to the lease contracts you are stuck with them for atleast a year. This meant that the rent should be the least you can possible manage. Just this decision will save me more than $6000 compared to some of my friends in the 2 years. This is including the move to the new house.

As a student that's a decent sized money, enough to pay three courses or financed our Car, our melbourne and brisbane trip and still save!

In this year we have been meeting many couples who have settled down here. They have started to look for houses to buy. Interestingly the most important decision forpeople who are working for atleast 2 years (in Australia from overseas) is to buy a home, take a mortgage and pay it for 20 years.

Not that owning a home is a bad thing, especially now with the housing market tanking in Australia, it could be a good buy too. However, is this better than low-rent living.

Low-rent living provides options to save, have flexibility, not get stuck with a job you don't like, start a business with the money you saved, invest in stock markets and just plain peace of mind.

Next year when I finish my education, we will not buy a house. We rather start a business!

This rant of mine has been inspired by this post on low-rent living on the Chief Happiness Officer blog.