Is Buying Outdoor Storage Better Value for Money Than Renting? 

 January 18, 2020

By  Scott Teesdale

Over the years, we start to collect items – some more precious and practical than others. While this may seem handy at first, you must consider what happens to them when we run out of storage space to store them. We don’t want to part with them, and the home we live in doesn’t have a garage – so where can they go?

Outdoor storage is a great option; it allows you to hold onto your belongings while also freeing up space in your home, or can be a protective shell for more valuable items like cars and motorcycles.

In the US, there are an estimated 50,000 self-storage facilities. When it comes to finding the perfect unit, are you going to choose to buy it or rent? Here are some of the benefits of both options to help you make up your mind. 

Choosing to buy

Backyard Storage Shed
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

One of the standout benefits of buying your own storage unit is knowing that it is yours forever. Another fantastic benefit to buying it is that you can determine where it is located – having it on or close to the property can even increase the value of your home.

Most people install their storage units in the backyards, making it much more convenient compared to renting a unit that could be located across town. This saves you time and money, especially if you need to use a vehicle and spend money on gas to get to it.

Another bonus to buying your storage unit is that it can be fully customized to your exact needs, like installing additional shelves and ramps. 

Choosing to rent

Storage Rental
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Renting your storage unit could be a good choice if you’re in temporary accommodation or transitioning between homes and need to store some things for a brief time. However, it could be costly if you intend to use it for long periods. According to the Self Storage Association, more than half of self-storage renters keep a unit for 12 months or more.

Research has shown that a 10×10 unit – the most popular choice – could see you spend $2,000 in one year alone. This will, however, fluctuate depending on location; you could see an annual fee of $2,500 in Los Angeles, rising to more than $3,700 if you’re looking for a unit in New York City. As a rule, if space is limited in a city, expect to pay much more; space is a valuable commodity in ever-growing areas. 

A rented unit could be less secure than one which is on your property. If you decide to go down the rental road, and depending on what you intend to store in the unit, be sure to question the level of security at the site. 

Once you’ve taken out a rented unit, ensure you can cover the bill – especially if you’re storing valuable goods inside. While laws can vary by state, self-storage companies do have the right to ‘evict’ your belongings and then auction them so they can recover their money. 

Overall, buying a storage unit is a great investment, especially if you need it for long periods. They’re a convenient and cost-effective choice. While the upfront cost may seem greater than renting at first, it could see you save money in the long term – as well as helping you make money if you intend to sell your property. 

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