When visiting my best friend to cat-sit last week, I got the opportunity to tour the new home she just bought. Gorgeous views, new furniture, and modern architecture had me all but convinced to start shopping for a house in my mid-twenties. As we got to the basement, my friend opened the door to her guest bedroom to find…a huge wet stain on the carpet, dripping from the exterior-facing wall. Three days into home-owning, and she had a serious plumbing issue. My first thought was to tell her, Oh no! Call the landlord!
And then, it sunk in. She owned the house and everything in it, including the things that broke or went wrong. For this, and many other reasons, the amount of Americans deciding to rent over buying has steadily risen for 8 years. Everyone from the Washington Post to Adam of Adam Ruins Everything is singing the praises of renting a home in today’s economy.
Of course, no one can tell you exactly what will work best for you and your unique living experiences, but while you’re thinking it over, consider these (often overlooked) benefits to renting your apartment:
1. Less stress
Buying a home comes with a lot of stress–closing, inspections, approval for loans, price negotiations, applications and fees. It’s a lot! Not to mention the stress from fixing anything that breaks after you buy.
Apartment hunting, on the other hand, can take as little as an afternoon to find and secure a unit.
2. No repairs!
Come home to find your fridge has stopped working? Oven door shattered? Just the other day, I opened my water closet to find the hot water heater was leaking right onto the floor. A quick call to my property manager, and I got to finish an episode of Project Runway as my landlord and plumber worked out costs between the two of them. Property managers usually cover the costs of appliances and permanent fixtures within the home.
3. Mobility and freedom
Most leases carry a one year commitment at most (and often even that is flexible), while some even offer month-to-month. Committing yourself to a year is very different than giving over the next 30, and many millennials value their freedom. Especially if you’re looking to change jobs or move in the next ten years, renting might be the right decision for you!
4. Housing Market Crash? No worries!
I came home last week to find a homeowners meeting in the courtyard of my building. Living in a condominium for me means about half the residents own their units and the other half are renting. The homeowners in attendance were having a heated discussion about property values and the housing market. Factors outside of their control were driving the value of their property down, and in the case of one disgruntled homeowner, his property lost a third of its value over five years! That’s a lot of money to lose on an investment! There are many things that can drive your property value down including: neighbors, school districts, surrounding businesses, crime statistics, and more. These are things that can change in an instant. Renters, though, needn’t worry too much over fluctuating property values. You might even find your rent goes down!
5. (somewhat) Tax-free and living easy!
While taxes are often incorporated into your rent price, it’s not a cost you’ll have to worry about come April 15. No surprises, and no need to save up money for property taxes!
6. Less Utility Cost
Property managers swallow a lot of costs in exchange for good residents including but not limited to: water, trash, sewer, and sometimes gas. Again, while these might be incorporated into your monthly rent, you’ll be paying much less in utilities on a 2 bedroom unit than a three-story Victorian house in the suburbs. Plus, with many new apartment complexes being built to keep up with increased demand, your utilities are likely to have less an environmental impact than a suburban house. If your appliances are newer, they’re likely to be of greater benefit to the planet, not to mention less floor space means less consumption (and less pollution).
7. Stable Monthly Costs
Homeowners face surprise costs built into their house: any upkeep, broken appliances, property taxes that can vary, lawn services, and more. With renting, aside from utilities you can plan on a very stable monthly cost. Such stable finances allows you to better financially plan for your future.
Pools, enclosed BBQs, dog parks, and dog wash stations are all amenities you can search for and find in reasonably-priced apartment communities. While these features would drive the price of a house up significantly, apartments understand the value of great amenities and offer them to residents more and more frequently.
Whatever you choose to do with your living situation, remember: no one knows your living better than you! Make the decision you feel most comfortable with, and be sure to check out marketapts.com for apartment living tips!
If you’re a property manager, check out marketapts.com for more ideas on resident retention, apartment marketing, and digital campaigns. We love everything apartments, and would love to help you!