[There is a disclaimer which you should read -Ed.]
The American Dreamis always on our minds, but in this day and age, rarely attainable. For the Baby Boomer generation, owning a home was the pinnacle of life goals, but these days, renting has become an increasingly popular option for younger generations looking for different things. For some, it’s purely from a cost perspective, for others, it represents a shift in priorities and a way to maintain a more substantial level of freedom. If you’re facing the conundrum of purchasing a home or continuing to rent, consider the aspects of renting that might make this housing route more desirable.
The upfront cost
Purchasing a home is expensive, and for many people, finding a way to raise the funds for a 20% down payment on a home isn’t likely. These days it’s harder to secure loans from small banks, meaning it might be impossible for an individual to ever come up with the bundle of cash necessary. Housing prices vary on geography, and it might be that your community’s housing costs are too high to ever be considered a possibility. In highly saturated metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or New York, hunting down a home that fits your needs within your budget is a wild goose chase.
Renting allows flexibility
Younger generations are more interested in freedom and flexibility than their parents might have been. Renting allows individuals a measure of freedom not found with a mortgage. Should you decide to move on to a new city, all you need is 30 days to let your landlord know in most cases, whereas with a home, you’ll deal with the stresses of finding a buyer and potentially selling your home for less than it’s worth due to the volatile housing market.
Owning a home isn’t a one and done process, and homeowners are responsible for a variety of upkeep tasks. From landscaping to plumbing issues, the maintenance isn’t always easy and it definitely isn’t cheap. Renters have few responsibilities if any, and usually lease provisions will lay out the help and assistance tenants can rely on from their landlord or property management company. Renting takes a lot of stress off of your back, and as long as you’re responsible for keeping up with payments, the rest of the upkeep is pretty much included.
Access to amenities
When you rent, you might be able to access a higher amount of amenities. As the rental market is competitive, landlords have worked on enticing tenants with community access to various things: on-site gyms, resort-like pools, barbecue setups, and privacy and security measures that wouldn’t come along with a normal home purchase.
Homeowners are responsible for a variety of different payments. Firstly, homeowners are responsible for a monthly mortgage that can take up a lot of their main income. Beyond this, there are property taxes, repair issues for every part of the home, inside and out, and maintenance costs to keep the home in mint condition. When it comes to renting, these complications are simplified into a singular payment; make sure to write your rent check each month and you’re set.
Be aware of scams
There are downsides to renting. Tenants do have to deal with a landlord, and unfortunately sometimes the relationship isn’t always the best. When you’re looking for your rental, don’t let the pictures found on Zillow.com sway you; if you have bad feelings about the landlord when you meet him or her, don’t ignore that intuition. Also, always make sure you don’t hand over your private information to just anyone. In most cases, it’s best to request the landlord use a certified website to run the credit checks they need, like www.smartmove.com. That way, your social security number isn’t out in the stratosphere or used by a nefarious con artist who might be running an apartment scam—trust me, those people are out there.
For many Americans, renting makes more sense than purchasing a home these days for a variety of reasons. Determine the things you’d gain from purchasing, and compare those benefits to those waiting to be claimed by rental homes before making your decision to put a down payment on any type of property.