The Secret Benefits of Being a Renter
According to US Census figures, more than 43 million households rent their living spaces, equal to about 1/3 of all Americans. Even so, cultural expectations of homeownership have encouraged a social stigma around apartments and their occupants. However, on closer consideration, not owning one’s home has some hidden advantages.
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Having a Home to Match Your Lifestyle
While growing families may need the space of their own house and yard, for many other groups, renting may prove a more reasonable option. Landlords often lease apartments on an annual basis to occupants such as college students who leave every summer. Retirees seeking to downsize on space and responsibilities may likewise choose this option.
Similarly, short-term or no-contract rental arrangements are the right choice for transient populations, including corporate travelers, construction contractors and military personnel. During their temporary work assignments away from home, the option to rent furnished apartments can provide tenants with all the amenities of a real residence.
Depending on the area, renting can be considerably cheaper than buying a home, as ownership comes with countless extra costs. For instance, the security deposit for a rental unit is a lot less than the down payment on even a modest house. Correspondingly, monthly rent payments are generally much lower than home mortgage fees, especially when interest is included. This isn’t counting property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, unexpected maintenance and utility bills, all of which are commonly included in the cost of rent.
Being Near the Action
Major cities are famous for their opportunities and infamous for sky-high land prices. The higher the population is, the higher the price of a home is likely to be. In big cities, renting is how the less affluent can live in desirable locations. Urban residents happily rent their homes for the perks of shorter commute times, proximity to cultural attractions and convenient access to critical services. With money and space at a premium, renting is the only practical solution.
Avoiding Homeownership Hassles
Honestly, owning a house isn’t for everyone. Homeowners are physically and financially accountable for all upkeep, from shoveling sidewalks in winter to mowing lawns in summer and making repairs as needed. Furthermore, even the most diligent owners have to worry about depreciation and declining property values. For tenants, surprises such as a cracked window, broken stove or plumbing problems are ultimately the landlord’s responsibility. This makes renting a smart solution for seniors, disabled people and anyone on a budget.
Concerning their housing, everyone has special considerations. In many cases, there are compelling reasons to be a renter. However, whether you buy or rent, the most important thing is having somewhere to call home.
Lynn Place is Vice President of Marketing for SolvChem Custom Packaging Division. She has 30 years of professional experience in the manufacturing industry and specializes in consumer packaged goods, new product development and strategic planning.